Monumental mural: Nevada Theatre muralists receive Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Award
Nevada Theatre mural artists Sarah Coleman, Miles Toland, and Brianna French have been awarded the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Award for Visual Arts by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.
The annual awards honors businesses, organizations, and individuals who have made significant contributions to the Nevada City community through their time, actions, talents and dedication.
Those selected serve as a role model for compassion and service and are constantly striving to make the world a better place.
Sally and Dr. Leland Lewis retired to Nevada City from Bakersfield in 1963 and Sally was a charter member of the Nevada City Liberal Arts Commission formed to save the Nevada Theatre from demolition.
The theater’s 100th anniversary in 1965 was celebrated with a locally produced play titled “Golden Days” as well as a gala dinner and a ball to establish the building fund that would lead to the preservation of the theater.
An awards ceremony to honor the muralists initially slated for January of this year has been pushed back tentatively to June.
Meanwhile, detail work on the mural continues to be fine tuned by the mural’s lead artist Sarah Coleman, who says she will extend the mural up into the balcony over the next few months.
“It will complete the project and feel finished,” Coleman said. “Beyond that I have a few local projects coming up.”
Coleman plans to work with California Heritage Indigenous Research Projects’ Visibility Through Art program this year, and currently has some work in the Forest//Fire multimedia and educational show up at the Truckee Recreational Center.
Toland, who was tasked with painting the 40-foot high ceilings of the theater, and is known for his large mural on the side of downtown Grass Valley’s Everhart Hotel, is working on a show slated to open May 14 at the Ryan Joseph Gallery in Denver, Colorado.
Toland spent many hours above scaffolding and at times laying down to paint, much like the Sistine Chapel painter Michelangelo.
Work to the Nevada Theatre’s lobby also continues to be spruced up with the help of Amanda Ashley of Miss Moth Design.
Painted portraits of some of the Theatre’s more notable performers, including Lola Montez by Serena Cole, as well as one of Mark Twain done by Pam Hodges, are displayed prominently in the theater’s lobby.
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