A small town in central Nevada is planning for a big-time event this September. Eureka, a quaint historic mining town in the center of the state, hopes to attract artists from around the region for a plein-air painting and wine event.

The annual Eureka Wine and Art Fest is scheduled for September 18 – 21, 2019. This year’s event has expanded to include plein-air workshops, painting competitions, food demonstrations, wine tasting, live music, and a scavenger hunt and grape smashing contest for kids.

“We’ve added classes and workshops to our wine walk event with more focus on art,” said Garney Damele, president of Eureka Restoration Enterprise, a local non-profit that lists this event as their main fundraiser. “We believe that Eureka’s beautiful natural landscape and rich mining history will attract artists to this small town.”

Winnemucca artist and teacher Theodocia “Teddy” Swecker, will be teaching a watercolor class, a plein air class for kids in addition to helping organize a painting competition for both professional and amateur artists

Local teacher Ralph Cuda, who has future plans of opening a small Italian restaurant in town, will be teaching an Italian cooking class complete with a sampling of his homemade wines.

Cuda is also scheduled to perform with the local Eureka County Assessor Michael Mears Friday night with their band Two Blokes and a Squeezebox. “We are a fun Irish band playing traditional Irish music,” said Mears.”We are the only local band here in Eureka at this time. Since we’ve played the (Eureka) Opera House we’d like to play every Opera House in the state.”

A wine walk will conclude the four-day event and is to feature an expanded selection of wines this year. Idaho winemaker Neil Glancey will provide a wine tasting at the event’s welcome. Glancey, whose Crossings Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Idaho and was named 2017 Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest magazine, is looking forward to sharing his product with Eureka.

“I live in a small town and I think Eureka will be a fun place to share some of our wine. We’ve got some really great wines for people to taste and get excited about wines out of Snake River Valley,” he added.

Another facet Eureka has added to this year’s roster is a relationship with Reno’s Artown executive director thanks to a new program through the Nevada Arts Council called the Nevada Basin to Range Exchange. The program was created to foster relationships between Nevada’s rural and urban communities.

Damele has looked to Artown’s staff for advice and new connections. “We hope to capitalize on the experience that they have in organizing large art events. Just providing new sources for artists and bands will benefit our small organization when putting on community events,” said Damele. “We would also love to see some of our local talent given an opportunity to participate in a larger event and this new relationship may provide that.”

An example of this new urban-rural collaboration includes workshops highlighting artist Georgia O’Keeffe taught by Eureka’s local art instructor Abby Sweet. Sweet is set to teach painting classes on O’Keeffe at Eureka’s September event. O’Keeffe’s exhibit can be seen throughout September at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Eureka hopes to promote and collaborate with the museum on their urban exhibit. The possibility to also bring our local artists to the Reno area would be ideal, added Damele.

This year’s fest is supported by Eureka County Recreation Board, Travel Nevada, Fiore Gold Mining, and McEwen Mining Nevada, Inc. in addition to the Nevada Arts Council. For more information on Eureka’s Art and Wine Fest check the website at eurekarestoration.org, facebook page or email eurekarestorationenterprise@gmail.com. Contact Garney Damele at 775-318-0305 for additional information.