Young Blood is a one-night-only pop-up exhibit put on twice a year at the Holland Project, a nonprofit all-ages arts organization. The exhibit showcases the work of Reno’s younger artists under 21 years old. Since it started in 2013, Young Blood has grown with every show, and according to Holland’s gallery director, Alisha Funkhouser, the organizers plan to expand into the building’s Serva Pool Gallery to accommodate more artists.
To be part of Young Blood, artists don’t need any prior experience. This makes the show an opportunity for exposure, according to Funkhouser.
In addition to artists having their work showcased in a professional gallery space, they’ll learn skills they can use throughout their careers—like learning to display their work for a possible solo show or how to properly price their artwork.
The day before the show, artists come to the gallery to learn how to hang their pieces using the proper tools. Volunteers also teach them about wall spacing and what pieces will work well together in the gallery. Funkhouser said she hopes to create a zine in the future with instructions on how to hang artwork to further assist young artists.
Funkhouser wants to teach artists not to undervalue their work. If Young Blood artists plan to sell their work at the show, she wants to make sure they price it based on the materials they’ve used, how much time they’ve spent making it, and how much money they’d want to part with the piece.
Funkhouser, who’s been the gallery director since 2014, said she’s seen a definite change in the level of confidence artists have from their first show to their third or fourth. She said it’s been enjoyable to see how a young person’s work evolves over time and to see a growth in the professionalism of their art.
“The first time they’re shy, nervous and intimidated, but then they come in and know what to do, what height to hang [their art] at and how to use tools without even needing the help from us,” said Funkhouser.
Trinity Johnson, a first-time Young Blood participant, said she’s most excited to see the work of other artists.
Johnson’s style is influenced by cubism, and she said she wants to be part of the exhibit for the experience of being in an art show, and to gain exposure for her artwork.
Three-time Young Blood artist Paige Oberholtzer has continued to show her work in the exhibition, not only for exposure, but also to sharpen her artistic instincts.
“It’s helped me identify what I like and what I can do [as an artist] by looking at other people’s work,” she said.
Oberholtzer, who’s interested in making comics, said she’s learned how to promote herself and meet deadlines through Young Blood.
Funkhouser hopes that, in the future, Young Blood is in a larger setting, so artists can bring more than one piece to display. She also wants to see young people further their interests by attending art school, pursuing an art career or organizing a show of their own.