Art Truckee brings visual, literary and performance art center stage in the heart of downtown Truckee |

Art Truckee brings visual, literary and performance art center stage in the heart of downtown Truckee

Cassandra Walker
Art Truckee is home to a performance art theatre, where guests can enjoy live entertainment and a drink from the bar.
Cassandra Walker / Sierra Sun |

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Art Truckee is home to all-things-art, featuring fine art pieces, photography, glassblowing, a performance theatre and in-house bar.

Visit to see their complete event schedule.

Nonprofit organization and community artist hangout, Art Truckee, is shaking up the typical entertainment experience by bringing eclectic performance art to locals and guests from Donner Pass Road.

“We’re a hub for visual, literary and performance art,” said photographer and co-owner of Art Truckee, Michelle Erskine.

“Art Truckee is basically all-things-art, where people can have an entire experience enjoying beer and wine at our bar while hanging out with artists and musicians in this art-filled space; with kind of a coffee house vibe.”

Art Truckee just celebrated their first anniversary in May and Erskine says the community has completely embraced their vision.

As an artist herself, as well as a board member of the Downtown Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce, Erskine is all about collaboration with other local artists as well as business owners.

“We don’t want to compete with any of the other great local spot’s events, like at Bar of America, for example,” she said.

“We love Bar of America and want to give people the opportunity to come to an open mic night here, and then go get drinks afterward with them.”

The vision of the art space is to become a tourist destination during their Tahoe-Truckee vacations.

Erskine’s business partner is David Borlongan, an art broker and co-owner of Art Truckee.

“What we’re trying to promote at this location is something different,” Borlongan said.

“We’re a performing arts theater concentrating more on the adult-end of shows instead of kids plays. We don’t have crazy rock and roll shows, it’s all focused on fine performance talent that fits this subdued environment, like acoustic guitar, something that compliments the art on display.”

The creative space certainly delivers on their vision, bringing comedy shows, open mic nights, literary arts and wine series, songwriter showcases, chamber groups, live theater, movie nights, chocolate and wine pairings, photography workshops, demonstrating artists, and now introducing a newly arranged partnership.

Art Truckee will now host Painted Vine’s weekly classes as well as private parties — what a fantastic space to find artistic inspiration.

“We always had this vision,” Erskine said. “But we didn’t know how big it would get or how well embraced it would be because we’re so non-traditional.”

Erskine explained that Art Truckee is supposed to bring people new, different entertainment through various art forms.

They’ve hosted classes in the past and see potential for future sessions in landscape photography — the options are limitless for this creative mecca and the region is bursting at the seams with talent to showcase in their beautiful space.

“We encompass every type of performer from comedians to belly dancers — anyone who wants to perform.”

The first and third Friday of each month is Art Truckee’s open mic night where guests can enjoy entertainment from Tahoe’s talented locals.

“It’s overwhelming the love people show us here,” Erskine said. “We have people who play music for free because they just love being here.”

Art Truckee exists to celebrate local talent and give performers a space to showcase their skills.

The walls are lined with gorgeous painted and photographed portraits while glass shelves display delicate glasswork, all handmade by glassblower, Frank Rossbach.

Guests can even assist Rossbach as he works on his delicate pieces, to learn the ins-and-outs of glassblowing.

Art Truckee is so dedicated to local talent that the space takes on artists for weekend showcases, making time to highlight their work while their list of consigned artists is full.

“We don’t want to turn anyone away,” Erskine said. “We’re all about collaborating, hosting fundraisers for other non-profits and giving the artists a space; this is their space.”

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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