New Reno Art Collective - Reno Public Market partners with Bay Area's Makers Paradise.

Rendering of the Reno Public Market Art Collective space at the former Shoppers Square site.
Reno Public Market is partnering with two art collective founders from the Bay Area for a new artists' space at the former Shoppers Square site.

The shopping center project - which is in the midst of a remodel - is working with Tom Franco and Larry Silva to set up the Reno Public Market Art Collective. Both have been involved in various art programs, including the Firehouse Art Collective and Makers Paradise spaces in Oakland, Berkeley and other Bay Area locations. Franco, a sculptor and mixed media artist, is also the brother of actors James and Dave Franco.

An aerial shot of Reno Public Market, formerly known as Shoppers Square, prior to its remodel and new construction.

Franco described the new art collective as a perfect fit for Reno Public Market's planned mix of offerings. In addition to retail and shopping, the reimagined Shoppers Square will also have a new food hall that will be limited to local food vendors and will not have any chain restaurants.

"This new art collective will engage the Reno arts community at Reno Public Market, pushing creators to the forefront," Franco said. "It will be a cultural center for artists in Reno, and we hope to engage all the senses at Reno Public Market when it comes to art, food, retail and events."

Franco and Silva plan to bring in artists from projects such as the Firehouse Art Collective while also adding local Reno area artists to their marketing outreach. The Reno Public Market Art Collective, which is eyeing a late summer 2021 launch, will feature spaces for open and private studios, events, offices, galleries, classrooms and workshops. 

One of the focuses for the art collective is promoting engagement between artists and community members to help promote the Reno art scene.

A rendering of the front elevation of Reno Public Market, the $40 million remaking of the old Shoppers Square that has begun on West Plumb Lane. The market will include a 16,000-square-foot food hall featuring local vendors.

"Our community is incredibly arts-rich," said Nettie Oliverio, Reno Public Market arts and culture director. "Reno Public Market will bring working artists together with shoppers and diners for delightful unexpected new experiences and discoveries."

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve described the project as a game-changer for the city.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve

"Projects that infuse arts and culture are certainly an economic driver but they also speak volumes to a community that vibrancy lives here," Schieve said "We know art is an enormous demand in Reno and I have no doubt this project can deliver that."

Construction, meanwhile, is ongoing at the Reno Public Market site despite the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy. Work on the CVS store should wrap up in the next few months. Construction of space for a new organic grocer - which public records indicate will be a Sprouts Farmers Market - should be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

Rick Casazza, whose family built Shoppers Square, says the art collective is one more piece in the rebirth of the long-standing retail location.

"We are very excited about Makers Paradise coming to Reno to launch the art collective at Reno Public Market," Casazza said. 

The new venture will "help these businesses at Reno Public Market become successful through art, and to share arts and culture with the community as a whole," Casazza added.

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