Capital city creations: Carson City’s first mural festival brings international, regional artists to town Sept. 28-30

The Brewery Arts Center’s Murals and Music Festival will feature local, national and international mural artists’ work on more than 20 walls in and around downtown, along with nightly concerts, from Sept. 28-30.

“This one, I think, will be exciting and different, because it’s not on Highway 80, and it is the capital,” said Eric Brooks, the gallery curator at the Brewery Arts Center. “I think because of the way Vegas and Reno have grown, the capital has been kind of left behind, and we’re all very excited and focused to put the highlight and spotlight on Carson City and the power it has. The community here is amazing, hungry and excited.”

Brooks helped organize a mural festival in Reno in 2017, followed by mural festivals in Elko and Fernley. The Carson City edition is a collaboration between the Brewery Arts Center, Visit Carson City and the city.

Artists will paint on local businesses and private residences.

“It’s nice to do a project for people that are appreciative—not to say that the other (festival locations) haven’t been, but the excitement here is at a different level than it’s been in other places,” Brooks said. “I think some of that might be because they’ve been to Reno and seen the murals, and murals are at a different level now worldwide than they were in 2017.”

Gina Lopez, the previous director of the Brewery Arts Center, initiated talk of a Carson City mural festival. Lopez and Brooks started working on the project, but the plans were imperiled as Lopez took another job in California; Spike McGuire took her place; and others transitioned in and out. Nonetheless, they’re now poised to put Carson City “on the Nevada mural map,” according to Brooks.

The festival will offer nightly concerts at the Bank Saloon and the Brewery Arts Center, with performances from Dale Poune, New World Jazz Project, Greg Gilmore and the Fever Dreams, and headliner Ian Moore. Brooks said more concerts may be added, and that only Moore’s show is ticketed; the rest are free to the public.

A painting by Leire Urbeltz, an artist from Spain’s Basque region, who will paint a mural during the festival.

Viewers are encouraged to start at the Brewery Arts Center and grab a printed map of the festival’s offerings.

Several artists will be coming in from outside the region, including Prism, from Mexico; Leire Urbeltz, a doctoral candidate from Spain’s Basque country; Dave Young Kim, from Oakland; Jenn Ponci, from Sacramento; Truckee graphic designer Cyan Samone; and Jesse Melanson, who works in Truckee and Austin, Texas. 

Local muralists include Anthony Ortega, Arthur Richmond (whose signature is A.R.T.), Bryce Chisholm, Doomed Movement (Terrence Hammond); Edwin ‘Esco’ Martinez, Erik Burke, Hannah Eddy, Hayley Meadows, Jen Charboneau, Joe C. Rock, Nathaniel Benjamin, and Pan Pantoja.

The inaugural Carson City Murals & Music Festival will take place Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 28-30, featuring mural painting; concerts at the Brewery Arts Center and at other locations; docent-led mural tours, artist lectures and talks; and more. Tickets to Ian Moore’s show at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, start at $25; other events are free. For tickets or more information, visit

This piece originally was published by Double Scoop.

Reno’s Erik Burke is among the festival’s muralists.