Billboard Gallery: June 2022

Billboard Gallery: June 2022

The Holland Project’s Billboard Gallery showcases the work of exceptional emerging and established regional artists on billboards throughout Reno’s surface streets. Three new artists are installed every four weeks starting in 2022. The June artists included Ruby Barrientos, Kai Morikawa, and Ron Rash.


Location #1: Wells Avenue & 2nd Street

Artist: Ruby Barrientos
Artwork: El Salvador, digital, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Ruby is a first-generation Salvadoran American artist born and raised in Reno, NV. She is a self-taught, independent visual artist having shown in galleries and museums locally, and currently serves as Reno’s City Artist through June 2022.

Ruby is an artivist utilizing a unique artistic voice that she coined Nuwave Mayan, a style that incorporates her Salvadoran Mayan ancestry and heritage in the creation of socially relevant work. Ruby’s exhibits, talks, performances, public art, and community involvement speaks to her commitment to engaging with the public through thoughtful discussions about creating better more inclusive futures.

Statement: In 2017, I visited El Salvador and explored the town of Ataco (Concepcion de Ataco). The town is full of colorful murals, artists, and artisans. Inspired by my visit, I created this work to further examine a common sentiment felt by those who experience the Salvadoran diaspora; “ni de aquí, ni de allá’, which translates to “not from here, not from there.”

I explored this concept by bridging the inspiration from my travels to El Salvador and my experience as a Salvadoran American in the United States. A symbol of resistance to the erasure of my Salvadoran culture in the United States by creating my own interpretation of what reminds me of my homelands. As I do when I see the artwork from El Salvador in the homes of my family, friends, and community.

Location #2: Gentry & Wrondel

Artist: Kai Morikawa
Artwork: Stop and See the Roses, digital, 2022

Bio: Kai Morikawa is a self-taught artist residing in Reno, Nevada creating illustrations and ceramic pieces with a happy-go-lucky and nostalgic theme. Their work is about embracing your inner child by creating functional pieces and scenes that remind us of that. Kai’s inspirations are heavily influenced by their Japanese heritage, creating a twist on the traditional illustrative pottery and the culture of cuteness that is ubiquitous in Japanese media. Kai shows that just because we grow up, doesn’t mean art can’t be adorable.

Statement: The planet we live on can be heavily taken for granted. As we take more and more it’s important to slow down and see the wonders that the world gives us. From the smallest bugs to the biggest clouds in the sky. In an era of overstimulation, it’s the simple things that make the world go round. Handmade with love – Kai

Location #3: Keystone & 2nd Street

Artist: Ron Rash
Artwork: Let Love be the New Currency, watercolor on paper, 2022
Website | Instagram

Bio: Ron Rash was born and raised in Reno, NV, and has been making art for the past 30 years. While Ron is best known for his tattoo work, he is a prolific artist utilizing a variety of mediums. His work has been in solo and group shows from Reno to Beijing, published in books and magazines, and printed as several skateboard graphics over the years.

The HP Billboard Gallery was made possible by an Art Belongs Here Grant from the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, generous donations from supporters like Temple Builders LLC, Brooks Family Dental, and Sierra Hearing Center, as well as the support and guidance of our partners with the Wells Ave. Merchants Association and Lamar Outdoor Advertising. Thank you!