Fred Reid, “Willie Goes To Stonehenge” Archive

Fred Reid, “Willie Goes To Stonehenge” Archive

Fred Reid is a painter, drawer, and ceramicist, and a beloved member of the UNR arts department (now retired). A fourth-generation Nevadan, Fred studied art at UNR and graduated with a BFA in ceramics in 1970. Under the mentorship of the late artist and longtime faculty member Craig Sheppard, Fred went on to become a ceramics technician, drawing teacher, and then head of the ceramics department at UNR. Now in 2022, several years after Fred’s retirement, we revisit his artwork from the 1980s made collaboratively with his daughter Sienna for the HP Billboard Gallery series.

Fred Reid’s billboard features a piece called “Willie goes to Stonehenge”, a collaborative drawing made with his then 6-year-old daughter, Sienna Reid. Sienna drew lots of horses, inspired by the horses stabled in her neighbor’s corral growing up. One winter, a particular horse, Willie, wandered onto the ice and became trapped in the frozen Truckee. Fred and the horse’s owner tried to rescue it, but Willie died on the shore. On the day of the incident, Fred was working with a white unicorn with a rainbow wing that Sienna had drawn, and that horse became Willie. Afterward, Willie went all over the world in Fred and Sienna’s imagination, doing all the things he might have wanted to if he lived. The two soon had an exhibition of this work in the Manville Gallery in 1989, a gallery no longer operates in the Unversity’s School of Medicine which was organized by a professor of the school and an avid art lover.

HP BIllbaord of “Willie Goes to Stonehenge” by Fred Reid, 1988
Fred Reid’s HP Billboard at Forest St. and California Ave, December 2022

The exhibition by Fred and Sienna was extremely well received by the community, garnering attention from local journalists working at UNR and the Reno Gazette-Journal. Below, we are sharing articles written about the exhibition and Willie from Fred’s personal archive. Click images to enlarge and read.

Reno Gazette-Journal, written by Sandra Macias, February 7, 1989
Reno Gazette-Journal, written by Ingrid Evans, February 19, 1989