Carson City Mural Project

You may have thought that over the past couple of months we were franticly packing up and moving out of our bank building in Eureka, Nevada. You’d be partly right! Long before we had an offer on our building, we had set into motion the creation of “Roper”, our largest mural project to date. It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” program in partnership with Arts Midwest. Carson City’s event, also sponsored by Visit Carson City and the Carson City Cultural Commission titled “True Grit” offers art and literary events for everyone from May 1st through July 22nd 2018. This mural is one of the many creative interventions to reimagine vacant and blighted commercial properties in Carson City.

180507011“Roper” is located at 310 Stewart Street, Carson City, Nevada. Look to the rear of this empty building. You’re looking at the mural from the Nugget’s #6 parking lot, just two blocks from the State Capitol.

062212#1(Roping)

I created this image with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera, re-loaded with Kodak Tri-X black and white film. “Roper” was created at a ranch that Trish and I had frequented many times. We had made an assumption that it was an abandoned ranch since we had never seen anyone there and by how run down the place was. But, on this day, we arrived to find some cowboys and cowgirls sorting and branding calves. They invited us to stay and were welcome to make photographs of them working. What a memorable day that was. Thanks to all of them!

I process all my own film and make my own prints, including this giant 9’x22′ wheat paste mural. These wheat paste images are printed on 20 lb. plotter paper using an Epson 24″ printer, taking twelve hours to print and less than two hours to install. We had help from Mark Salinas, who is Carson City’s Arts & Culture Coordinator. Click the link for a 29 second time-lapse video of the installation.   “Roper” Time-Lapse 

180507058With one of my many Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras.

180507045I love how the concrete blocks show through the image in this detail.

IMG_9140One of the RV campers made this sign from a pizza box to make sure no one parked in the way of our installation…

IMG_9147The day prior to installation Trish and I showed up at the site to prep the wall. We brushed off the loose paint, rolled on TSP and sprayed it off with clean water.

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Time to Move

Time

With the EPA deregulating many rules inclusive of the mining industry, the small community of Eureka, Nevada, an area rich with new geological discoveries, has been experiencing an uptick in activity. Drillers rolling in, new mining companies opening offices, 5th Wheel trailers filling empty lots, rentals full and real estate seeing an increase in activity.

BuelStreet

In the middle of winter we were seeing activity on our 1880 Bank Building! One weekend alone, our real estate agent had multiple groups coming through to view our property, this after five years of thinking we were never going to sell the place! How exciting when the first offer came in! Unfortunately, it turned out to be an insultingly “low ball” offer that we ended up turning down… Then, the very next week a new door opened, our agent called to say a gentleman was on his way to see the building and would we be there to show it? He drove two days to get to Eureka from the Pacific Northwest. We showed the place to him most of the day, crawling through every passage possible and climbing ladders across the roof checking out every detail. He saw the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, we had a hand shake deal and all parties were quite happy. He needed to drive back to the Northwest and sell his property, so we agreed to close in 90 days. The first morning he returned to the Northwest he was awaked by a knock on the door, a woman standing there asking, “would you be interested in selling your house?”. It’s amazing how things fall together when they are meant to be…

Sunroom01

At first we thought, 90 days is plenty of time to pack up and move out… Wrong! When you live in a community as small and remote as Eureka, Nevada, things just take a lot longer. We’re so lucky we had started to purge our stuff nearly a year earlier. Best guess is we have sold, given away, donated, recycled or discarded nearly half of our belongings. For the first two months, we concentrated on packing and boxing up everything for long term storage. We would have clothes purging sessions. We both had lost considerable weight and most of our clothes no longer fit. So, most of our clothes were donated or repurposed. We held moving sales to find new homes for our unwanted stuff.

Next, where do we put everything? With a little research Trish found a storage unit and mailing address (forwarding service) in Carson City, Nevada.

Storage

Did I ever mention that Eureka, Nevada is a remote community? Depending on which direction you go, it’s a four to six hour drive to get to a city of reasonable size (a real grocery store). At first we thought we’d not put the miles on the Sprinter and rent a truck. Well at .89 cents a mile plus daily fees and insurance we quickly came to the realization that turning our Sprinter into a cargo hauler would save a lot of money. Not to mention, it was easier on our aging bodies to break up the packing and moving.

SeatOut

Our 2012 Mercedes Benz Sprinter has a Van Specialties interior. We knew the camper interior came out without the use of tools, but had never removed it before. It took about an hour, included taking out all of the camping gear too.

InsideRear

InsideFront

Cargo Hauler! The maximum allowable cargo capacity of our Sprinter is 5,880 lbs. On at least one trip to our storage unit we had an estimated load of around 5,000 lbs. The Sprinter handled it amazingly! Drove like a Mercedes Benz and got 20mpg doing it!

Studio01

It took several trips to storage to empty the building. We have come to the conclusion we still have way too much stuff. We plan on figuring out how to get through the storage unit and reduce even more…

Rusty

Rusty was somewhat stressed-out through the packing and moving parts. We kept his food, water, beds and litter box in their same places to help reduce his stress, but he was still stressed. Once we moved into the Sprinter he completely relaxed and is ready for adventure!

LivingRoom

The last week living in Eureka we were camping in our building.

Gone

“Gone” Our last day in Eureka, Nevada was Monday, April 30th 2018…

Parking

By the time we had reverted the Sprinter back into a camper and packed it for extended adventure, Spring had arrived and we are now mobile…