Homebodies no. 18 – Eric Brooks

Homebodies no. 18 – Eric Brooks

The Homebodies series explores the personal spaces of community members, the artworks and interesting objects they’ve collected through the years, and how those pieces live with them every day. Since moving here in 2013, local artist & curator Eric Brooks has collected over 100 artworks by Nevada artists. Additionally, he has saved countless special treasures, oddities, and vintage or antique collectibles from yard sales, thrift stores, train tracks, auctions, and giveaway piles in preparation for his own installation works, making for a truly unique collection with a lot to look at and consider. Several of the local works were purchased from spaces that are no longer operating in Reno, so we look back fondly, but also with a little tear in our eyes!

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1-2. Artist unknown, purchased from a little shop on Isla Mujeres. They specialized in antique masks from Central America and Mexico. The first one is a small hand-painted alter with a voodoo bottle I made in 2018 to cleanse the room from heartbreak. The other is a hand-carved and painted mask believed to be Guatemalan from the 1940’s. (The complete collection of masks stayed together w/my ex in SF.) 

3. Jason Kell (Reno) purchased from NeverEnder, 2015.

4. Chris Gibson (Reno) purchased from Strega, 2013. 

5. Chris Carnel (Reno) purchased from The Holland Project, 2014. 

6. I forget his name, but love this piece. It says, “Someday all this will be a Bed Bath & Beyond”. Purchased from NeverEnder, 2015. 

7. Nick Noyes (Reno) is one of my favorite developing artists, his new work is so much more refined. Purchased this at Reno Art Fest, 2016. 

8. Bryce Bettersley (Reno), gift from the artist after showing with me at Monolith Bar, 2014. 

9. Eric Santi (Reno). I love what Santi did while in Reno, purchased from Strega, 2014. 

10. This piece is from The Blue Show, designed and curated by the artist Eric Santi. This was one of several 12”x12” theme shows he curated. The artist is a teacher he worked with while living in Japan. Purchased from Lasting Dose, 2015. 

11. Michelle Lassaline (Reno), purchased from The Holland Project 2015. 

12. Ryan Fassbender (Reno). My first piece of Reno art and from a White Elephant party, 2012. Ryan was part of the small crew who started Valley Arts Research Facility at 420 Valley Rd, the reason I moved to Reno. This party was two weeks after I arrived on the Greyhound Bus. 

13. Emily Najera (formerly last name Rogers, Reno), a gift from the artist. Originally shown at Sierra Arts’ Small Works Exhibition. 

14. This is one of mine from 2005, when I was living in Richmond, CA in the Iron Triangle. Turf wars were going on. All the pieces were telephone poles from corners where murders were committed. There were 13 pieces in all. This was a study I held onto from the death on my corner. All the finished work was made of tar, spray paint, glass on aluminum panels. 

15. Guess what, this is mine from 2003. I had a residency in Edinburgh, Scotland at Wilkie House during the Fringe Festival. I was experimenting with film negatives, copper wire, and multi-layering. This month was a big swing for my technique. Save for this piece, was my first sold out exhibition. 

16. Another Emily Najera (Reno) from her BFA at UNR. I saw this series before I knew her and it reminded me of the neighborhood I grew up in rural Idaho. A gift from the artist after becoming friends in 2016. (Correct me if I’m wrong, I know you will. Miss you!) 

17. Sarah Lillegard (Reno), purchased from NeverEnder in 2013. Went on to work with her a few times. Huge respect for her vision and execution. 

18. Can’t remember the artist, but local and purchased from Lasting Dose, 2016. Old school local muralist. 

19. Josie Luciano (Reno), trade with the artist from The Blue Show, 2015. Josie was one of the local artists I was immediately drawn towards, very thankful to have had her as a collaborator and friend in my Reno life. 

20. Seth McCorkle (Reno), purchased from the Sculpture Fest Art Auction, 2016. 

21. Carrie Lynn (Reno), purchased from NeverEnder, 2018. This was one of their last exhibitions before closing. I first worked with Carrie at The Potentialist interactive experience at the Generator in 2014. Since then, we’ve become shenanigans buddies and neighbors. 

22. Chris Wyatt Scott (Reno), from the exhibition Dear God, What Is Art? in 2016. Not enough people saw this at The Potentialist Workshop. A gift from artist.

23. Hannah Huntley (Reno). Love these soft sculptures from UNR alumni. A gift from artist 2020. 

24. Pomme Bour (Edinburgh). Soft sculpture from a French artist living in Scotland. A gift from a dear friend in 2014. 

25. Joe Winter (Reno). If you haven’t got a piece from Joe, you need one. Highly recommend a chat over a beer with this prolific/iconic local craftsman. 

26. A big ol’ stack of zines collected over the years from SF, LA, Seattle, NYC, UK, and Reno. 

27.  This is an-fired clay pot with lid I made in a workshop in Guadalajara, MX, during a street art fair in 2016.

28. Erin Sherin (Reno), one of my favorite conceptual artists. Purchased from her 2017 TMCC exhibition. It’s a small ball of her kid’s hair.

29. Hard to see, Dane Haman (Reno) from his incredible exhibition at The Holland Project in 2013. I think it was called, 1,313 Photos of 13. Love, love, loved it. Made me realize that there was a depth to the art scene here. 

30. Headless gold statue removed (consensually) from Michael Garlington/Natalia Bertotti’s 2015 Totem of Confessions, before burning. One of the most brilliant art pieces I’ve ever experienced. 

31. Susan Handau (Reno), a gift from artist 2017. One of many, underrated, local artists. 

32. Jessica White (Reno), purchased from The Holland Project 2016. Jessica, you’re due for another series. Love what you’ve done. Let’s go!

33. Handsome Hernan (Reno). This was originally installed in the Climb Down The Ladder, This Painting Is Done exhibition I curated at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, 2019. He never picked it up, so I hung it up. (Thanks, Bud!) It happens both ways more than you would ever think. I have abandoned a handful of pieces, one was at the campaign office when Gavin Newsome was running for City Council back in the day. It was 48” x 24” and had a piece of metal that covered ⅓ of it horizontally. The metal had a crazy patina, I found it on the edge of Golden Gate Park. Found out later they used it as a file cabinet of sorts. 

34. Commission from Reno artist Katherine Case, she was one of the first exhibitions I hung for Chad Sweet at Sierra Arts Gallery, 2014. It’s a crow tangled in blue thread and she captured me perfectly. 

1. This is a ventriloquist dummy from the 1920’s or 30’s. I consider it a piece of art. Purchased in 2020 for an upcoming installation. Now that I see the pic, I really like that his lifeless body is sitting in the cradle of a fertility statue while petting the skull head of an ocarina (whistle). 

2. Skull ocarina from Guadalajara, 2018. I went to scout a ceramicist, Pablo Pajarito, hoping to get him to Reno for a residency. That hasn’t worked yet, but we were able to go with him to an art fair in Chapala. I couldn’t afford his work, but was incredibly happy to take this home. Yes, I use it, but currently not a lot to whistle at around the house. 

3. I love the Mexican culture, my parents had a lot of pottery in the Tonola style growing up. I found this vase for $10 in a thrift store in Pocatello, ID. We asked around and turns out, a professor who taught at ISU passed away and the majority of her life was donated. She traveled extensively throughout Mexico in the 50’s and 60’s. My mom bought the two other pieces there. I can’t imagine the treasures we missed. (The balls on top are hair from my roommates’ brush, kindly donated for an upcoming installation. I’m still collecting BTW.)

4. One of the most exciting site-specific installations I had the pleasure to work on was HAUNTED. This porcelain face mask is a gift from based artist Meg Regelous, 2016. (Check it out on PBS’s Arteffects.)

5. Artist unknown. Purchased from FB Marketplace in Salt Lake City. Native American hand-carved clay vase. 

6. Artist unknown. Carved wooden relief of two elephants. It has a copper latch and slides apart to reveal a small scale. Used for opium transactions. Purchased from the northern hill tribes, outside of Chang Mai, Thailand, 1999. 

7. Purchased this retablo made from potato dough at the Sausalito Art Fair in 2003. That same year, artist Vacario Jimenez had work at the Smithsonian. 

8. Textile art from Colorado-based Jennifer Vollaric. We met and became friends when she did a residency at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City in 2015. In 2016, she came back for an exhibition at Sierra Arts Gallery and lived in Reno for several months to create these site-specific panels. 

9. Love me some Joe C. Rock and so should you. Lots of affordable, fun work at his ‘gallery’ inside Junkee. Picked this up in 2019. 

10. Kinda hard to see this assemblage sculpture, one I did in 2005 called La Muerte de Tiffany. It’s a Tiffany bracelet stretched between 2 alligator feet, the backdrop is losing tickets from Golden Gate Fields. Was the first attempt at assemblage. (More coming, stay tuned.)

11. This is an altar I built for the interactive art project, Prayers for Sin, 2013. The horse head is from Texas, voodoo bottles, sage, broken glass from the Space Whale (collected, not harvested). So much more in this ever-evolving (and hoarder-esque) artwork. 

12. Artist unknown. A salt-fired ceramic bowl, a thrift pick up in Portland, 2018. 

13. A Kachina picked up for $10 at a fancy garage sale in Caughlin Ranch, 2018. 

14. Ceramic pieces – the first is a pendant skull with the outline of Idaho in it. I’m from Idaho and this was a gift from the ID regional burn project at Burning Man, 2015. The other two smaller pieces were a gift from an artist at Burning Man, 2018. They are based on traditional pieces formed from Mayans who migrated north into what is now Mississippi. 

15. The cigar box contains four pieces. The first and fourth are ceramic ‘shrunken’ heads created by Rachel Armstrong (Reno) 2013. 

16. The smaller black skull, artist unknown, purchased in Merida, MX, 2004. Hand formed and painted.

17. This is the black shark fin piece. I don’t know much about it, but I think it’s a garbage product from a train. I found it on some abandoned tracks in 2018, in the Ardennes Forest, Belgium. I have since found 2 more on tracks in Carlin, NV. 

18. This is the metal LOVE piece created by Jeff Schomberg (Reno) in 2015. Sold as a fundraiser to bring the temporary placement of Gary Gunderson’s Pentamonium to the Lear Theater. 

19. Hard to see, two pink and white ceramic pieces by Michelle Laxalt. Purchased at The Holland Project in 2017. 

20. I love these old carvings, this came from a local auction in 2018. It’s the best $12 I’ve ever spent. Not sure of the origin yet, but early 1900’s Africa is what was on the auction tag.