Polar Express tickets selling fast

Less days from departure, tickets aboard the 2014 Polar Express train are on the fast track to sell out.

Even with the addition of more trips and passenger cars, the month-long event has consistently sold out since debuting four years ago and is expected to draw record numbers again this holiday season.

The ride is full of holiday cheer with hot chocolate and treats served to passengers as they prepare for a reading of the classic children’s book, “The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to Carson City.

VIP tickets are $68 for children, 2-12 (free for children under 2 who sit on a lap), $78 for adults. Coach tickets are $42 for adults and $32 for children.

The Polar Express Train Ride departs Thursday (except Thanksgiving), Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., from Nov. 21 to Dec. 22. Arrival at the station 30 minutes prior to departure is recommended.

To purchase tickets, call 877-724-5007 or 775-291-0208 or visit Information is also available at

Kelso book signing

Fernley author Mary Jean Kelso recently received word that two of her books are now in English Braille. A copy of the translation into braille of her children’s book, “Andy and the Albino Horse,” arrived last week. “One Family’s Christmas” is also available in braille.

Kelso will be signing books at the Fernley High School Band Boosters craft show on Nov. 14 from 3-8 p.m. and Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fernley High School.

She will also sign books at the Fallon Eagles Holiday Craft Fair on Nov. 21 from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m.. to 4 p.m. at 7977 Reno Highway.

Kelso who writes for children, tweens, young adults and adults has been published in many formats including e-books, hardbacks, paperbacks and audio. These are the first braille editions. The books will be used to teach blind children how to read.

The goal of the Anna B. Repicky Foundation is to provide a print book and a braille copy to clients so the sighted and non-sighted in families and classrooms can read together.

The two organizations have teamed up to expand the number of books available through their libraries. The books are provided to the clients to keep without charge.

WNC seeks student work

Western Nevada College is looking for student and independent filmmakers to submit their work for possible viewing at the upcoming Carson City International Film Festival.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 5-7, 2015.

To be considered for the competition, filmmakers must submit an original video of up to 90 minutes in length and in DVD format to WNC by Dec. 1.

For information, contact Valerie Andersen at 775-445-3222 or email

Stremmel Gallery

Stremmel Gallery presents “Painting the West,” a landscapes exhibition featuring five Nevada artists.

The opening reception for Ron Arthaud, Jean LeGassick, Craig Mitchell, Charles Muench, and Jeff Nicholson is 5-7 p.m. on Nov 20.

The plein-air painters will exhibit works depicting the varied and unique landscapes that distinguish our region, including the Great Basin, Sierra, and other awe-inspiring areas of Nevada. The show will continue through Dec. 20.

Both the opening reception and the exhibition are free to the public.

Tuscarora’s Ron Arthaud captures the abstract in nature, squinting and closing one eye, imagining a painting. His works are often about expressing the beauty in ordinary, discarded objects: rusty cars, a broken down fence, or the shadows cast from old pickets in the snow. Renown Medical Center and Reno City Hall are among Ron’s numerous exhibitions.

Jean LeGassick’s inspiration derives from nature in its rawest form: untouched and unexplored. The Silver City resident hikes, snowshoes, and even mule packs to remote peaks, hidden canyons, windswept desert outcroppings, and rocky shorelines in order to record immediate and spontaneous responses with her brush and canvas. Jean was featured as one of six artists filmed for the nationally-televised PBS series, “Plein-Air: Painting the American Landscape.”

Craig Mitchell’s modern take on classic impressionism aims to engage viewers into looking at a captured, transient moment in time and space. Armed with painting materials and a 16-foot self-contained trailer, the Reno-based artist paints on location in concentrated intervals, carefully extracting candid observations of his natural surroundings.

The West provides the perfect canvas for Gardnerville’s Charles Muench. Visiting the same location at different times of day, every season, allows Muench to form a deeper relationship with his subject matter. Charles was featured in the 2014 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, the bigges western art sale in the country.

Silver City’s Jeff Nicholson is known for his paintings of the high desert, particularly focusing on the Nevada landscape. His works celebrate the boom and bust of man’s tenure on the land, as well as the primal beauty of untouched locales. He is fluent in both oils and watercolors.

Jeff’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Nevada Museum of Art, the Governor’s Mansion, and the University of Nevada, Reno.

For more information, or to schedule a private viewing of the “Painting the West” exhibition, call Stremmel Gallery at 775-786-0558, or visit Stremmel Gallery is located at 1400 South Virginia Street in Reno. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays.

WNC Carson City art exhibit

Monika Johnson’s en plein air landscapes require the Incline Village artist to capture the moment quickly.

Whether painting outdoors in Burgundy, France; Lake Tahoe, Virginia City or Montana, she enjoys capturing the beauty of these areas with bold color and texture.

Johnson’s artwork opened the new season at Western Nevada College’s Main Gallery in Carson City.

University art exhibit

An art exhibit at the University of Nevada, Reno is combining creativity with reuse.

‘Reused-plus-Recycled-equals-Art’ is open through late September at UNR’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.

University marketing and communications coordinator Deanna Hearn said the exhibit features about 100 works made of 80 percent reused or recycled materials.

“A foot made of plastic bottles that is crushing the world,” described Hearn, “a piece of art called ‘Scully,’ who is a man made of used bicycle chains, things like ‘trashin’ fashion.’”

Hearn said ‘trashin’ fashion’ is clothing made from plastic bags and other recycled materials.

Ultimately, according to Hearn, the showing is a fun and creative way to showcase and promote the practice and lifestyle of sustainability.

“But it’s to allow them a venue to showcase their artwork,” said Hearn. “Especially to reach out, to tell the community that we’re thinking about sustainable issues here on campus.”

Hearn added that the artists are mostly university and high school art students.


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