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PRESALE Tickets Available June 15


Applications for the 2023 RTA Awards will open to all artists within the Reno Tahoe region May 2023 and will include the following: 

  • Completed registration form

  • Brief artist statement (300 words or less) 

  • Brief response to the question - What does it mean to be a working artist in Reno Tahoe right now? (200 words or less) 

  • Succinct portfolio of work (up to 15 images) including title, date, medium, and dimensions for each work. Works must be photographed in installation format with the finished piece presented as it would be in a formal exhibition. Each work should include an angled view to showcase its dimensionality. Works submitted must have been completed within the last two years (2021 - summer 2023)

  • $15 non-refundable entry fee 

Zoe Bray

by 2022 excellence in fine art in watercolor winner Ronnie Rector

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September 14 - 17, 2023

Reno - Sparks Convention Center

RTA Awards Partners & Sponsors

About the Awards

The Reno Tahoe Artist (RTA) Awards is an annual awards program and Gala created to recognize individual artistic achievement and the overall ascendancy of Reno Tahoe into a national destination for arts and culture. 

A 509(a)2 entity, the regional component of the RTA Awards presents cash prizes and special edition awards for excellence in artistic achievement in 6 categories to artists living and working in the Reno Tahoe region. Winners are selected by an appointed panel of jurors looking to recognize key contributors to the development of Reno Tahoe’s arts and culture landscape. The Grand Prize is selected from the category winners.

Running in correspondence with the Reno Tahoe International Art Show, the 2023 RTA Awards introduces the ‘Best of Show’ Awards, a voter-based awards program celebrating what’s best within each presenting category of the RTIA Show. Attendees and exhibitors are asked to vote for one winner per category on-site at the RTIA Show between the VIP Preview Thursday, September 14 and 6pm on Saturday, September 16 ahead of the Awards Gala.

Excellence in Fine Art in Oil & Acrylic

Artworks using oil and/or acrylic as the sole medium, applied to canvas, panel or other 2D surface

* Sponsored by Pixels & Ink

Excellence in Fine Art in Watercolor

Artworks using watercolor as the sole medium, applied to canvas, panel or other 2D surface

*Sponsored by Alan Maiss

Excellence in Fine Art in Mixed Media: 2D

Two dimensional artworks composed of a combination of materials-examples: collage, printmaking, multi media wall hangings

*Sponsored by Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority

Excellence in Fine Art in Mixed Media: 3D

Three dimensional artworks composed of a combination of materials - examples: free standing sculpture, installation art, jewelry, sculptural wall hangings

Excellence in Fine Art in Photography

Photography in which the vision of the artist behind the camera is presented rather than the objective reality of the subject the camera is capturing

*Sponsored by Pitch Black Printing

Excellence in Furniture, Lighting and Functional Artworks

Custom created functional furnishings - seating, lighting, tabletops, etc - designed as a singular work of art

*Sponsored by Dolan Auto Group

2023 Award Categories - Regional Awards

Best of Independents

*Sponsored by Pitch Black Printing

Best of Galleries & Features

Best of Art Cities

Best of First Nations, Indigenous Peoples

Best of Design

Best of Sculpture - Large-Scale (freestanding)

Best of Sculpture - Small-scale (pedestals)

2023 Award Categories - Best of Show

Winners will each receive a $1500 prize towards RTIA Show 2024 + a special edition award for the following award categories:

RTA Grand Prize 

Reno Creative Movement Award*

The Reno Creative Movement Award, presented by EDAWN, is presented to the artist who has both achieved the highest level of artistic excellence in any media and contributed meaningfully to the ascendancy of Reno as a national arts and cultural center. 

  • $5,000 Cash Prize 

  • Special Edition Award

  • Full-Page Artist Focus for an Upcoming Issue of American Art Collector

*Presented in partnership with IAP and American Art Collector

 by 2022 RTA Grand Prize Winner Denise Klitsie


Reno Tahoe Artist Awards & Gala

Presenting excellence in achievement to artists in Reno Tahoe, contributing to the Reno Creative Movement. 

When: Saturday, September 16, 2023, 7-10pm

Where: Reno-Sparks Convention Center

Austin Pratt

Austin Pratt is an artist, educator, and curator based in Reno, Nevada. He received an MFA in Painting+Drawing from the University of Tennessee and a BFA in Painting with a Minor in Museum Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. Pratt was a recipient of the Nevada Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship and has been featured in New American Paintings magazine. His work has been shown widely, including Baitball Art Fair in Italy and solo exhibitions at Oats Park Art Center in Fallon, Nevada, and at Channel to Channel Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, among others. Pratt is currently the Curator and Manager of Sheppard Contemporary & University Galleries at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a faculty member in the MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts. He splits his time between programming exhibitions and teaching courses in Painting, Drawing, and Contemporary Theory and Practice.

Frances Melhop

Frances Melhop is a visual artist, curator and gallery director, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, living and working at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Melhop works in tactile mediums such as photography, printmaking, hand embroidery, sculpture and oil paint exploring the tensions between the virtual and physical ways we experience the world. Her focus is on human presence and absence in our screen and material lives. She has exhibited collaborative works with Susan Norrie at Nancy Hoffman Gallery (New York, NY) and the NSW Museum of Art, (Sydney, Australia). Awards include, University of Nevada, Reno, Outstanding Artist Award, 2019, NNDA Innovator of the Year 2014, Luerzers Archive World’s Best Photographers 2009/2010. In 2020 as a curator and artist, she opened Melhop Gallery °7077, at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, representing 12 national and international artists. She also curates themed group shows with other invited exceptional artists. For the last 6 years she also taught in the art departments of University of Nevada, Reno, Western Nevada College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Lake Tahoe Community College.

Megan Berner

Megan Berner is a visual artist and arts professional living and working in Reno, NV. Coming from a multi-disciplinary and non-traditional art background, Megan is interested in innovative ways to activate public space and create opportunities for citizens and artists to engage with the community and connect people to their environment. Her personal practice is centered around place and the psychological experience of the environment. Megan holds an MFA from the University of Iowa in Intermedia. She currently works as the Arts & Culture Manager for the City of Reno. 

Nettie Oliverio

Nettie is a partner with Foothill Partners Urban Development in the position of Arts and Culture Director. She collaborates in all the company’s projects to incorporate culture and commerce to build and sustain community.

A graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and former dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Nettie served 10 years on the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission and chaired the City’s Public Art Committee and Arts & Culture Grants Panel. She co-chairs the regional Reno Arts Consortium and serves as board president of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

Parker Stremmel

Parker Stremmel is the Director of Stremmel Gallery, a Reno-based fine art gallery that specializes in contemporary paintings, drawings, and sculptures by mid-career and established American and European artists. Stremmel serves on the board of directors for the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, The Barracuda Championship/ Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation, the John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art at UNR, and the Prospectors’ Club. Additionally, Parker is part of the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, which specializes in the finest classical Western and American Art, representing past masters and outstanding contemporary artists.

2023 Members of the Jury

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