Joseph Maino, The Fernley Reporter
From a chance meeting at a garage sale, the Fernley band “Kathy and the Gents” are enjoying their ninth year performing together.
Sunday their journey took them to the Reno Artown festival, where they performed as part of Artown’s Art & Nature at the Arboretum event.
“Kathy and the Gents” include Kathy Colegrove on accordion, Bjorn Koch on banjo and Bill Amermak on mandolin. As Kathy plays, her fingers sprint across the accordion keys belying their owner’s 80 years on this earth.
“We love playing music from World War II and the 1930s and 1940s,” said Colegrove.
“Music from that time has such great melodies that are like a good caramel,” Koch said. :”You can just keep sucking on it forever.”
At the Art & Nature event, strolling participants make their way along garden paths while speaking with and admiring the work of artists, weavers, dancers, poets and other musicians such as harpist Regan Gallagher. The idyllic setting includes shady oak groves, blossoming flowers and even a waterfall.
Copper artist Don Kennedy of “Cosmic Copper” creates everything for copper jewelry to larger fine art works including abstracts, copper bowls and flowers.
“I learned my craft after my wife insisted I learn art welding so I would have something to do when I retired,” Kennedy said. “I loved the experience so much, I went on and took a copper hammering class and fell in love with working with copper.”
An accountant for 43 years, Sandy Horner knew she wanted to do something different.
“Art is therapy – a way for people to get out of their heads.” Horner said. “We have many fans who come from Fernley to create a piece of art, drink a little wine and laugh a lot!”
Although the Reno Art Bar was designed for adults to let go and create their own art, it also has programs just for children.
Painter Carol Gilman of Sparks is in her second year participating in Artown. She began painting as a young child and has never looked back. She attended UNR and received degrees in art and interior design.
“I like to create art that is thoughtful and a little quirky,” Gilman said
More than 40 local and regional artists participated in this, the 21st annual Artown Festival.