Current Exhibitions

The Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery features exhibitions offering a glimpse of the rich cultural legacy of “Basque country,” both in the rural American West and abroad. 

January - March, 2018

Mountain Picassos:
Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin

Jean Moore Earl and Phillip I. Earl, Man on Horse, EM, Wax-on-muslin rubbing, 1982 (Genoa Peak), Carver Etienne Maizcorena

Jean Moore Earl and Phillip I. Earl, Man on Horse, EM, Wax-on-muslin rubbing, 1982 (Genoa Peak), Carver Etienne Maizcorena

Explore the unexpected intersection of art, culture and nature with this rare opportunity to see intimate personal images carved by Basque sheepherders in the aspen groves of the Great Basin during the early 20th century. No hiking required! Jean and Phillip Earl have done the backcountry exploration, documenting their findings along the way with rubbings.

We invite the public to  join us for an exhibition opening reception at the Western Folklife Center, Thursday, February 1, 2018, 3:30-4:15 pm.

Curated by Sheryln HayesZorn (Nevada Historical Society) and Patricia A. Atkinson (Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program), in consultation with the UNR Center for Basque Studies and Jean and Phillip Earl.

MOUNTAIN PICASSOS: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin is part of the Nevada Touring Initiative–Traveling Exhibition Program. It was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Nevada. The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

Presented by the Western Folklife Center in partnership with the Nevada Historical Society, and the Folklife Program and the Nevada Touring Initiative/Traveling Exhibition Program of the Nevada Arts Council.

January - September 2018

Images of Basques and Buckaroos in the Ranching West

Abel Mendeguia, by Linda Dufurrena    

Abel Mendeguia, by Linda Dufurrena    

Skeeter Clark, by Mary Williams Hyde

Skeeter Clark, by Mary Williams Hyde

Joan Arrizabalaga, by Zoe Bray

Joan Arrizabalaga, by Zoe Bray

Portraits speak volumes. Our portrait library draws on multiple mediums, from historic to contemporary. Gathered together are favorite images from ranching family photo albums in a revolving “slide show” that includes evocative oil portraits by artist Zoe Bray, contemporary photographic documentation by Linda Dufurrena and Mary Williams Hyde, a video story by Carolyn and Linda Dufurrena, and more. Objects speak volumes too, you say? Handcrafted and lovingly used items from local ranches and homes will play a role in this visual tribute to Basque immigrants and their families.

January - September 2018

Bertsolaritza, Basque Improvised Poetry


Dueling poets? And arena-sized audiences? Learn more about this sung improvised poetry tradition, an important cultural expression for the Basque people. And cheer on our special guests from the Basque Country and the U.S. who will be dueling it out during the Gathering. This exhibition of images, video and text was curated and produced by the Jon Bilbao Basque Library, University of Nevada, Reno.

Special thanks to individuals contributing to exhibitions through the Western Folklife Center Stakeholder Program, the E.L. Cord Foundation and:

The Artwork of Theodore Waddell
and Lynn Campion-Waddell

Pioneer Hotel, Fireplace Nook
January - May 2018


This year’s poster artist, Theodore Waddell and his wife, photographer and writer Lynn Campion, curated an intimate exhibition of their combined creative work. Sheep, cattle and horses take center stage in their collection of paintings, lithographs and photographs. Theodore’s abstract impressionistic renderings are a perfect counterpart to Lynn’s photographic eye. Waddell and Campion divide their time between their ranches and studios in Sheridan, Montana, and Hailey, Idaho. Featured artwork and books by both Waddell and Campion are available for purchase in the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop. Read more about Theodore Waddell.


G Three Bar Theater and Elevator Lobby
January - March 2018

Take a moment to admire the original artwork and photography by local students that adorns the walls of the theater and lobby. Our youths' imagination, creativity and craftsmanship were set to work interpreting this year's theme of Horse Stories. Artwork is on view until April 2018, with a free public reception on March 28, 2018, from 4:30-6:30 pm.

something that a cowboy knows

Lower Level, Pioneer Hotel

The Western Folklife Center presents Something That a Cowboy Knows, a photographic essay by L.L. Griffin, Denver-area artist and photographer. Through her photographs, L.L. Griffin provides insight into the character and spirit of cowboy poets, singers and storytellers of the American West. Something That a Cowboy Knows first appeared at the Arvada Center and the Colorado Historical Society, and after traveling throughout the West, it was donated to the Folklife Center by Griffin to become part of the Western Folklife Center's permanent collection of exhibitions and artifacts. All photos by L.L. Griffin.

Banner image by Rorie Holford.