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An Idea For Artists and Equestrians Update

I’ve had a pretty good response to my post suggesting forming a group to bring western artists and period models together locally. There are two groups around and it might be a fun thing to get them together. One is western artists and photographers who need models and the other are those who love our western heritage and enjoy “dressing the part”.

I envision a loosely organized group with no dues or model fees. I suppose some sort of models release should be provided to prevent your image from being used in a million dollar car ad or something. Any ideas?

I put together a simple website for the group at http://wnahrc.wordpress.com/ where you can sign up by leaving a comment or just write the editor here at washoevalley.org. I’ll keep you posted by email and the site on the progress.

All the details have to be worked out so if you have any suggestions, ideas or comments or want to be a part of it, write in.

Christmas Gift Idea

Give the gift of Washoe Valley as local potter John Manley hosts a show and sale in his studio in Washoe Valley as explained in this press release:

John Manley, a Nevada potter for more than 20 years, will open his Washoe Valley studio for an annual Holiday Pottery Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6-7 at 2920 Lakeshore Drive, off Eastlake Boulevard in Washoe Valley. Details: 338-1535 or manleysclayworks.com

Holiday Art Installation To Span Valley

Bill Goulardt, “Willow Bill” to many area schoolchildren is once again enlisting the talents of area children in the construction of the willow raindeer that spread holiday cheer throughout the area. This year, he says the line of raindeer will span 22 miles from the south end of Carson City to the north end of Washoe Valley. Eventually he hopes the efforts of his assistants, 13,000 and growing, will create the country’s largest willow art project stretching the 80 miles from Topaz Lake to Bordertown according to this article in the RGJ.com. For more information or to volunteer, call 842-3594.

Famous Residents- Will James

We’re starting a new feature today. We’ll highlight famous Washoe Valley residents. If you know of any, and there are quite a few, let us know. We’ll also include the famous who enjoyed Washoe Valley like Clark Gable and Eleanor Roosevelt. These will be available in the “Famous Residents” category.

Will James was an artist and writer of the American West taking much of his inspiration around his home in west Washoe Valley. Born in Quebec Canada in 1892, he made his way to Nevada where he spent a little time in the Nevada State Prison in Carson City for rustling near Ely. He then worked as a stuntman in movies and served in the US Army for a year until 1919. After marrying Reno native, Alice Conradt, he began to concentrate on his lifelong interest in sketching, drawing and writing. He began selling his sketches and in 1922 sold his first story. This allowed them to live in his father-in-laws 4 room cabin on 5 acres in west Washoe Valley at the south end of Franktown Rd from where he wrote his first book, “Smoky The Cow Horse” which won a literary prize in 1927. During his several year residence and after he traveled the west developing his art and making contacts and began to be published in regional and western magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and Sunset. In the 1930’s he moved to a ranch on Montana and then to Hollywood to work on the movie adaptation of “Smoky”. He died in 1942.
He was one of the fraternity of early 20th century western artists capturing the disappearing culture of theWashoe Valley romantic American west of cowboys and open land. A detailed biography is here.
He wrote 24 books and hundreds of drawings and paintings and was as “well known as Will Rogers and Tom Mix.” It will be interesting to learn more about Will and try to use his art and writing to understand more about life in the 1920’s in Washoe Valley and Nevada. Books and art are sold here.
We will add more info and the art of Will James in future posts.