Alec Brown

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Born on the east coast but raised in the west, Alec Brown is just about to start his fourth year at the University of Nevada, Reno, pursuing an English writing major with Journalism and Chinese minors. Alec has been writing for much of his life and most enjoys writing fiction and fantasy. he finds that he creates the best when severely anxious or stressed, which means college has been a good incentive for Alec to write. Currently, he has been deriving a lot of inspiration for writing from a Youtube video series called 2H32 that releases a video every 23rd day of the month at 2:32am. One fun fact about Alec? His favorite author is Brandon Sanderson, creator of the series The Storm Light Archive!

Sara Thacker

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Sara Thacker is our cover artist for the newest edition of Brushfire! Sara started sketching in middle school and then started up again when she was in her twenties. In her thirties, she began painting and perfecting her pencil art. She loves art because of how many avenues there are to approach a piece: various materials, additives, and digital manipulation can create entirely unique and different pieces. She’s found great enjoyment from a style of painting called pouring, which consists of mixing acrylic paint with some type of pouring medium and then applying it to the canvas to create an almost marble-like texture. Sara has had her paintings on display in various art galleries throughout Reno, and one day would be interested in opening her own gallery. A fun fact about Sara is that she is a sucker for a good gummy bear candy!

Grace Pickard

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Grace Pickard is a native Nevadan from Reno who has been writing since she was young. She likes to write poetry and even published a book of poetry when she was in high school! Grace played violin throughout her childhood, and with poetry, she is able to channel music into her writing. Much of the themes found in her writing are dystopian realities of female life, and she especially likes to write about things that make people uncomfortable because it can expose them to different perspectives that they may not have even known existed. Check out her work in the newest edition of Brushfire!

Sarah Cryan

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Sarah is a Reno local and was published in our most recent version of Brushfire. After graduating from UNR in December of 2018 with a degree in Economics, she’s made herself busy by expanding her knowledge about film photography. Most of her pieces focus on people and the environment. Sarah started doing film photography after being gifted a film camera by a friend, and has quickly become enamored with the process of film and being able to better understand the mechanics of photography. One fun fact about Sarah? She was the general manager for Wolf Pack Radio in 2018!

Krisna Balalong

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Krisna Balalong is a UNR undergraduate student studying English Language & Linguistics with a minor in World History. Published in our most recent journal for her piece “Dirty Habits”, her poem encapsulates the insecurities she had during the time she wrote the poem. Krisna likes to explore vulnerability and insecurity in her work, and in her own words, she finds a “certain type of beauty in sadness”. Her work include painting, writing, and creating bullet journals. One thing people might not know about her? She only eats the lemon flavored Starbursts and Skittles! Check Krisna out on Instagram @mimzypaints.

Painting of a Puppy
Painting of Multicolored Tulips
Water color painting of San Francisco Building
Painting of multiple Sunflowers
sketch of flowers in white pencil on a black background

James Stanford

Headshot of artist in front of gallery

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Who are you? I am James Stanford, I’m a 70 year old artist, who was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who was your biggest influencer? My oldest brother graduated from the University of Nevada with a degree in fine art in 1953. Although he was 18 years older than I, he became a great influence on me. I made up my mind at an early age that I would become an artist too. I grew up surrounded by all of my brother Jerry’s art work, his charcoal studies of plaster casts, his life drawings, and his paintings and sculptures. His work was a true inspiration to me.  What marked the beginning in your digital art career? In 1986, I formed my own graphics studio. It was through this transition that I discovered digital art. I started the first graphics studio in Las Vegas to make the transformation from traditional skills to Macintosh computers. By 1987 we had abandoned chemical typesetting and copy cameras and had entered the world of Photoshop and Illustrator.  I had been using my camera to gather images that I thought I might someday be able to incorporate into my paintings. Without realizing it, I had built up quite a body of photographs. By 1993, I began to concentrate on the digital montage. Soon I discovered that there were many ways to print my digital montages. What artistic themes did you want to focus on? Through my progress as a practitioner of Zen Buddhism I soon discovered what I wanted to explore. Mandala had always interested me. I loved exploring mirrored images. Symmetry had been so difficult to create outside of the copy camera. So, I began to explore the forbidden and formerly impossible world of Perfect Symmetry. Infinitely repeatable patterns became a metaphor for Indra’s Jeweled Net, an ancient description of this holographic universe that we discover when we look within ourselves. Where do you look and what do you look for when creating your images? I realized that it was all happening right in front of me. This self-awareness helped me to overcome all doubt.  Why not examine what is close at hand? Las Vegas, my home town, was certainly worthy of exploration. What better place to explore Pop Culture than in this city of neon signage? And, where better to explore oneself than the Mojave Desert? What is it like to be a Nevada Artist? Well, being an artist in the State of Nevada can be a challenging and very lonely endeavor. I realized in a very practical way that Nevada artists needed more venues to show their work. I have spent my life not only making art, but I have also devoted myself to serving my art local community. In the early 90’s I began to pour myself into helping the newly formed Contemporary Arts Collective in Las Vegas. I can truly say from experience that there is no greater joy than helping other artists to create a more nurturing environment for the benefit of all artists. We Nevada artists need more places to show our work. I think that there is a paucity of space dedicated to performance, installation and alternative work. We need to work harder to help each other out. Most importantly, Las Vegas now needs a major art museum.

abstract art of circle with various colors
abstract art of square with patterns
Abstract art of circle with color and patterns
Square abstract of colors and patterns

Shelby Grauberger

headshot of artist Shelby Grauberger

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Shelby Grauberger is a UNR graduate with a Master’s degree in World Languages & Literature. She teaches at UNR in the Core Humanities department and Spanish department, and in her free time, she loves backpacking, cross-stitching, and going to Burning Man! Recently she has been focusing on writing more, especially poetry. What’s one weird thing about Shelby? She won’t eat hot food! Check her out on Instagram @seegrauberger.

Naomi Devore

picture of Naomi Devore

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Local mixed media artist Naomi Devore works out of the Potentialist Workshop in downtown Reno creating pottery, paintings, glass carvings, poetry – if you can think of it, she can do it. Working at the Potentialist has definitely expanded her artistic horizons, and she hopes to continue producing art for the Reno community. When she’s not in the studio, you can find her playing with her band Cat Stanley as a vocalist. Check out more of her art at naomidevine.wordpress.com, or on Instagram @trash_nymph.

artwork of abstract cat
artwork of chickens and a dog
artwork title Human Nature
artwork of pink truck traveling on a road
artwork of Chinese archtiecture

Sophia Harrigan

Headshot of Sophia Harrigan

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Sophia Harrigan is a Cali-native and a junior Computer Science major at the University of Nevada. She’s been interested in photography since high school, and is the cover artist for the most recent edition of Brushfire!  She hopes to continue pursuing photography and integrate it into her future computer science career. Sophia is very excited to be our first Artist Spotlight of 2018.

abstract artwork of flowers
artwork of water droplet
artwork of peacock feathers
abstract artwork of plants through reflection
leaf artwork