On Saturday afternoon, a new art installation was brought to downtown Carson City thanks to a small group of art lovers who wanted to help bring more culture for all the public to enjoy.
“Maya’s Mind” created by artist Mischell Riley was installed at 377 S. Nevada Street in the courtyard of what is now Fairway Independent Mortgage Company.
Building owners Andie Wilson and Brad Bonkowski of NAI Alliance Carson City couldn’t be happier to lend part of their property to a major public art installation.
Mischell Riley is also the artist behind “The Mind of DaVinci”, the large public art sculpture currently on display in front of the Carson City Community Center.
Maya’s Mind was first exhibited at Burning Man in 2017 before being taken to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for display as part of their ‘No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man’ art exhibit.
Maya’s Mind is comprised of a 20-foot-tall bust of Maya Angelou resting on a stack of books.
The idea behind Maya’s Mind, according to Riley, was to build monuments of inspirational women in order to increase the representation of women of all races and religions. The series will continue in the future with Jane Goodall and Amelia Earhart.
According to Wilson, she is thrilled to be able to display the art on one of her properties, despite not owning it. Maya’s Mind is still on sale.
“I would have been happy to see this piece anywhere, in front of the legislative building, in front of city hall, but it’s a lot more complicated to do (on public property),” Wilson said. “While Brad and I own this property, Jennell is a tenant and totally open to it, so we thought, ‘cool, what do we need as a base? How do we get there?’ It was still a hundred paces, but a hundred instead of a thousand.
Jennell Peck is the branch sales manager at Fairway where the part is installed. She is also very happy to be able to look out her window and see the sculpture of an inspiring woman like Angelou, who then inspires her as a woman to be her best.
“It’s a great message,” Peck said. “No matter what, she always stands up. It’s amazing. To have a woman’s monument in front of a desk full of women, it’s very inspiring. When I’m having a hard day now, I can look at my monument and think, ‘I can handle this.'”
Wilson also said the facility comes at an important time after the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure, but now that people are starting to reappear within the community, it adds something else to experience. for them.
“There is a lot of activity here and we knew we were coming out of COVID; the world will come back to life. It’s a good thing for the community,” Wilson said. “It’s such a gift we’ve had (Riley) here and so if Maya ends up being here for three years, great, 10 years, 20 years; if she ends up selling the piece, she’ll move on, but we’re just happy to help. »
Riley is planning an upcoming move to Canada, and shipping Maya’s Mind would have been long and expensive, so having a place for the piece until it sold out has worked well for both Riley and the community of Carson City as a whole.
You can view the piece downtown, about two blocks behind Comma Coffee, located at 377 S. Nevada Street.