Jacquelyn Pira is a member of the Reno artists’ collective known as The Underbelly. She has had several shows exhibiting her paintings at places such as Tonic Lounge and Jungle Vino.
How long have you been drawing?
Probably since second grade.
Was it merely a hobby in the beginning or have you always been passionate and serious about it?
I was always passionate about it. Even when I was little, I dreamed about being a famous artist.
Were you ever self-conscious about your art or have you always been confident about your skill?
No, I’m still self-conscious about it. I still think it’s weird, and it feels super naked sometimes [laughs].
How did you get involved in The Underbelly?
I got involved with The Underbelly starting late 2008 or early 2009, I met Tony (Walker, founder of The Underbelly) at Dada Motel, but I had also seen [Underbelly members] Tony [Walker] and Alisha [Curran] at Se7en Tea House Performing for Spoken Views. We also had one of the first Underbelly shows at the same place actually.
On the topic of your art itself, are you more influenced by the people you’re surrounded by, or by outside influences such as artists in different cities or from different eras and/or art movements?
I guess all of those. I like Frida Kahlo a lot, I’m really inspired by her, and she had a really amazing life. I’m not really super into like traditional art or landscapes or anything like that, but I like her stuff because it’s really surreal and heartbreaking. I also enjoy Ghostpatrol, who’s from Australia, and he does really cool shit, as well as Os Gemeos who are two twins from Brazil, and Neckface, and especially Inechi [Ines Estrada].
Are there any local artists you would like to collaborate with?
Omar Pierce. I’d like to collaborate with [former Underbelly member and founding member of Lost Artists] John Decker someday. Mike Clucito, he’s pretty good. He’s a member of Lost Artists also. We were supposed to collaborate, but we never did so that would be tight. And me and Mark Pennington are supposed to. I haven’t seen his art yet, but I’m sure it’s cool.
And could you name the local artists you have collaborated with?
Me and Tony Walker definitively have, Emily [Orellana] and I have, and that’s pretty much it.
Has your art or involvement in The Underbelly brought you any national attention?
Not yet but it will. We’re planning a show in L.A. in a couple years, but we don’t really to talk about all that stuff aloud because we don’t want people to steal our ideas or get really hyped up about it and then have it not happen.
What are you looking forward to in the coming years?
I look forward to getting better at making my art look more professional, and getting into framing and possibly printing my own stuff and making T-shirts, and getting with Holland [Project] and using their materials to make T-shirts and more buttons.
Have you ever worked with Holland?
Oh yeah, we pretty much work with them all the time because Tony is a part of Holland, a lot of their stuff we use—like their silk screening press—we’re supposed to do a show there in a couple months. They’ve made our flyers a few times.