Culture & Arts

Editors’ choice

Illustration By John Craig

Best free outdoor venue

Wingfield Park Amphitheater
Arlington Avenue and First Street

It doesn’t have stadium seating, 40-foot high speakers or a laser light show, but the Wingfield Park Amphitheater is a nice place for an outdoor summer concert. Not to toot our own horn, but RN&R’s Rollin’ on the River summer concert series has helped bring people to this little downtown island, which separates the Truckee River. The Artown festivities in July also make this park a great place to see some of the best local artists, actors, dancers and musicians in the area.

Best studio tour

They may not be household names, but you may have seen some of these artists’ works around town. For example, you may have seen Gail Demi Wilday’s sculptures inside the Peppermill’s Romanza Ristorante Italiano and outside the Island Buffet. This past spring, tourists and locals alike had a chance to peek into her studio—and the studios of dozens of other local artists—as part of Artouring. These private docent tours take you into the studios of artists in the area who will discuss how they create their art. Artouring is mainly a spring and early summer event, and the tours are done by car caravan or by mini-bus depending on the amount of participants in the group. For more information, call Antonia Lowden at 826-3655.

Best use of an old building

Riverside Artist Lofts
17 S. Virginia St.

When the 52-year-old Mapes Hotel was imploded in January, it marked the end of an era for many Renoites. People wondered if any other buildings from Reno’s past would survive, and the former Riverside Hotel appears be one of the buildings that will be preserved for the next generation. It has begun a new life as the Riverside Artist Lofts. Within a few weeks, artists of various disciplines will start moving into the renovated, 73-year-old building. The Reno landmark will also house Sierra Arts, which bought the Riverside from the Reno Redevelopment Agency in 1999 to turn into a place that the arts foundation hopes will foster a vibrant arts community.

Best place to tickle your child’s brain

Fleischmann Planetarium
University of Nevada, Reno

OK. We know Toys ‘R’ Us is always going to win Best Place to Buy Toys. But the fact is, Toys ‘R’ Us is big and overcrowded. Check out the Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno. Telescopes, crystal growing kits, books, videos and toys for children who are too smart for their own good can be found in spades.