Maker Show to showcase Truckee’s creativity as Roundhouse preps to open
Special to the Sun
If you go
What: Truckee Roundhouse Maker Show
Where: Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company, 10242 Church St., Truckee
When: Sunday, June 12, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 suggested donation ($5 if you ride your bike)
Details: More than 40 makers, live entertainment, food trucks, beer and wine, silent auction
How you can help: Volunteers are needed for the event; visit truckeeroundhouse.org/volunteermakershow to sign up
TRUCKEE, Calif. — An explosion of creativity has been occurring in Truckee over the last five years with various stores and spaces opening to highlight local artists.
This creative renaissance will culminate with the opening later this year of the Truckee Roundhouse, a makerspace that will allow anyone to build and create anything from art projects to robotics. To highlight what is possible in this space, and to raise funds for the Roundhouse, organizers will hold a public Maker Show on Sunday.
The Maker Show will bring together more than 40 makers and artists — from ceramists and metal workers to drone operators — making their creations in a public space. Attendees will get to see the artists in action and how the pieces are created.
A kid space will offer youth a chance to create paper airplanes, work hands-on with computer programming and tinker with science labs. Tahoe Flow Arts Studio will showcase its aerial skills throughout the day, and local band Sneaky Creatures will provide musical entertainment.
Full Belly Deli and Starkey’s food trucks will be on hand, along with craft beers from FiftyFifty Brewery and Alibi Ale Works. A silent auction will be held, and Mountain Forge and artist Sara Smith will create a metal sculpture that will be auctioned off. Organizers expect 800 people to attend.
“The point and purpose of this show is trying to raise awareness of this community of people who do and make things that are artistic, and bring them out and show what the Roundhouse is about,” said Chris “Chief” Gregor, a Roundhouse board member. “I think there is an undercurrent of people who thrive who can make things and fix things; I see it a lot in this area.”
TAKING TRUCKEE TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Gregor said he and others, including Grant Kaye and Justin Self, saw a need for a local makerspace seven years ago. He said people were building things in their garages, and they wanted to create a space where all the doers and makers could come together and learn from one another. The space will not only offer artisans tools like a laser cutter and 3-D printer, but it will also host classes and workshops.
In 2015, the nonprofit Truckee Roundhouse was born, and a 3,400-square-foot warehouse space at the Truckee Tahoe Airport was secured. Funding has come from a variety of sources, including last year’s Maker Show, as well as individual and business donors. The Roundhouse will open sometime in 2016, Gregor said.
The biggest proponent and fan of the Truckee Roundhouse, arguably, is Morgan Goodwin, who has been a force to turn this makerspace into a reality. Goodwin is chair of the Roundhouse and vice mayor for the town of Truckee.
“Truckee is a uniquely engaged and creative place, and we don’t yet have a convening place where makers and creative types of all experience levels can work together, share ideas and skills, and take their creations to the next level,” Goodwin said. “The Roundhouse will be a huge step in that direction, and we are all going to benefit from the creative momentum it will help generate.”
Truckee’s Creative Stride
Jo Rutkowski, a graphic designer and photographer who works for Riverside Studios and is organizing the silent auction for the Maker Show, is passionate about the Roundhouse and what it means for budding artists like herself.
“To have access to tools you wouldn’t otherwise have access to is huge. It opens up any door to explore other fields of art and get better at your own,” Rutkowski said. “The space to actually work and make bigger things gives you space to grow. It’s about networking with other artists.”
The 29-year-old Rutkowski has lived in larger cities where the artist scene is “cutthroat,” and she likes that Truckee artisans can collaborate with a singular goal.
“In this community, we are all working together to make this happen,” she said of Roundhouse. “Everyone has their contribution to make this show and the space happen.”
Riverside Studios Manager Kath McGaughey agrees. The painter, who has been in Truckee for more than 20 years, sees the Roundhouse as another addition to Truckee’s already exploding art scene.
In the last year, Atelier and Gallery 5830’ have been added to Truckee’s downtown, adding to the growing number of local art spaces. She says the art scene in Truckee isn’t competitive, but nurturing.
“We have had so much growth. That’s why we need the Roundhouse,” McGaughey said. “A really strong art program is important for the health of the community. Truckee is getting a good reputation for artisans, and this will help expand on that.”
While the Truckee Roundhouse will not open until later this year, Gregor encourages the community to come to Sunday’s Maker Show to get a glimpse into what the space will be about.
“People should come to the show so they can fully realize and understand what this community is doing and they can do,” Gregor said. “Be a doer. Make it happen.”
Kara Fox is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and PR consultant who has lived in and written about the area for 11 years. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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