Artist Profiles

Group: Shapiro Project

Location: Henderson, Nevada
Category: Musician, Teaching Artist

Eugene Shapiro is the bandleader and manager of the jazz group the Shapiro Project. The band has released two CDs and has played all over Las Vegas and beyond. Shapiro has won two NAC Artist Fellowships and an honorable mention in the Billboard Songwriting Contest.

Rieko Shimbo

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Folk Artist
Specialization: Japanese Taiko Drumming

As a young girl growing up in Japan, Rieko Shimbo saw taiko music performed at many festivals. Her formal training commenced with participation in Araumaza, a professional taiko company based in Tokyo that performed folk music and dance in Japan.

Stephen Silberkraus

Location: Henderson, Nevada
Category: Actor, Filmmaker, Photographer
Specialization: Polaroid Photographer

Coco Chanel famously said that “fashion is made to become unfashionable.” The same is true for technology, which is made to become obsolete. Most of us rush forward to acquire new inventions, leaving a trail of forgotten iPhones, tape decks and film cameras in our wake.

Fran Sillau

Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Category: Actor, Director, Teaching Artist
Specialization: Performing Arts

For past decade, Fran Sillau has served as a teacher, writer, director, actor, and producer. He has an extensive background in theatre for youth, working for both Lexington Children’s Theatre and the Omaha Theater Company.

Emily Silver

Location: Ferndale, California
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Painting, Drawing

Emily aims to balance intuitive and intellectual knowledge of paint, aesthetics, perception, and her relationship with the desert in her life, art, and teaching.

Jeanmarie Simpson

Location: Glendale, Arizona
Category: Actor, Filmmaker, Teaching Artist
Specialization: Performing Arts

Jeanmarie Simpson is a performer, playwright, director and educator.

Chakrapani Singh

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Musician, Teaching Artist
Specialization: Indian Classical Guitar (Kachappi Veena)

Reno-based Chakrapani Singh has been working to promote the music of India for the last 20 years.

Gretchen Skivington

Location: Spring Creek, Nevada
Category: Writer
Specialization: Oral Historian, Fiction Writer, Workshop Instructor

Gretchen Holbert Skivington has a M.A. from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in Spanish/Basque/French.

jimiji smith

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Musician, Singer, Storyteller
Specialization: Performance ~ Poetry & TeachingArtist

Jim has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Hawaii & Europe. He has earned awards from Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, the Piioneer Center for Performing Arts and others over the past 20 years.

Martha Smith

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Dancer, Singer
Specialization: Dance, Vocal Musician, Musical Theater

Martha Smith believes that "Life is experienced to the fullest when the arts have a place. Everyone is not going to be a Singer/Dancer/Actor/Painter and so on, they will on the other hand have relationships with people. The Arts develop and balance us emotionally.

Mike Smith

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for the Las Vegas Sun

Mike Smith has been the Las Vegas Sun’s editorial cartoonist since 1983. His work, which has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, is nationally syndicated by King Features Syndicate.

Paige Smith-Wyatt

Location: Sparks, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist

Paige Smith-Wyatt is an artist located in Fernley, Nevada. She has been an artist since she was a young child and received early recognition for her artistic talent.

Kate St Pierre

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Musician, Teaching Artist
Specialization: Performing Arts

Kate St. Pierre is a teaching artist for the prestigious Smith Center for the Performing Arts. She teaches the Disney Musicals in Schools program, encouraging, assisting and training at-risk and ESL elementary students and their teachers in building sustainable theatre programs in their schools.

Ralph Stalter, Jr

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Actor, Producer, Writer
Specialization: Consultant in the Arts and Social Entrepreneurship

Ralph Stalter, Jr., brings more than 35 years of nonprofit performing arts management, teaching, administration and business operations experience to his consulting practice in the Arts and Social Entrepreneurship: focusing on philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, public speaking, technology training & community service.

Sarah Stevenson

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Photographer, Teaching Artist, Visual Artist
Specialization: Photography and Mixed Media

sarah spent most of her professional life as a corporate interior designer in chicago, managing and designing large-scale projects for fortune 500 clients.

Brad Summerhill

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Writer
Specialization: Fiction Writer, Essayist, Workshop Instructor

Brad Summerhill is the author of the novel Gambler’s Quartet (Virginia Avenue Press 2010). His short stories have appeared in Red Rock Review, The Nevada Review, Aethlon, South Dakota Review, Reno News & Review and elsewhere.

Jennifer Tam

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Jewelry designer and dabbles in art jars, art bird houses and dream catchers.

Big and bold or tiny and weird!

Marlin Thompson

Location: Yerington, Nevada
Category: Folk Artist
Specialization: Paiute Storytelling and Culture

Marlin Thompson, a Northern Paiute and member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe, grew up on the East Walker River, although his cultural knowledge and skills are not limited to the traditions of that region.

Carolyn Jean Thompson

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Teaching Artist, Visual Artist
Specialization: landscape paintings in oil, pastel and watercolor

Carolyn Jean Thompson is a local artist who paints landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe and Nevada scenery. Her plein air paintings (painted on location) are usually oil, and in the studio she also paints in pastel and watercolor.

Julie Townsend

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Oil & Acyrlic Painting

Julie Townsend is a long-time Nevada resident and award winning artist with a passion for western landscapes.

Markus Tracy

Location: Henderson, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Muralist, Visual Arts

Since 1994, Markus Tracy has been a community artist and coordinator of community mural projects throughout the United States.

Steven Trinkle

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Musician
Specialization: Trumpeter, conductor

Steven Trinkle has a very eclectic and cosmopolitan career.

Victoria Vallis

Location: Reno, Nevada
Category: Designer, Filmmaker, Photographer
Specialization: digital media, photography, videography, acrylic painting, watercolors, sewing, storytelling, comedy

A full time University of Nevada student who has returned to update her skills, Victoria Vallis is always learning. Everything she explores and absorbs becomes her art.

Patricia Vázquez

Location: Sparks-Reno, Nevada
Category: Visual Artist
Specialization: Figurative Painting

Patricia Vazquez paints—and have since she's had use of reason. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she often chooses to paint subjects that deal with race, class, and gender. " And as a chicana lesbian, sexual orientation is a matter of course," she says.

Violeta Veltcheva

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Category: Designer, Visual Artist
Specialization: Creating unique 3-D art pieces for houses and commercial buildings. Using natural materials and lights.

Violeta Veltcheva was born in a small, pretty town in Central Bulgaria and raised with all the love in the universe by her parents who were hardworking schoolteachers.