Montello Foundation is a foundation dedicated to support artists who foster
our understanding of nature, its fragility and our need to protect it.

Time is not just a mental concept or a mathematical abstraction in the desert. The rocks in the distance are ageless; they have been deposited in layers over hundreds of thousands of years. Time takes on a physical presence.” 
- Nancy Holt

A Waypoint

When we travel, it is in our nature to seek points of rest, to reorient ourselves. We want to understand the place we are traversing; but we also want to focus our mind on the original purpose of our journey rather than just on the logistics and technicalities of our transportation. Historically these waypoints were often created in a spiritual or religious context, recognizing the need to provide a focus for hope as travel was dangerous and often not voluntary.

As the focus of the Montello Foundation is the recognition of the fragility of nature, it became apparent that we need to create such a waypoint. A waypoint centered around the focus on nature, both the wide vistas as well as delicate details.

Vespers/Thunder by Patricia Watwood

We did had a student competition and then developed a design with the help of Ali Höcek of AC Hocek Architecture, and have the building permit, but unfortunately building costs rose to a level which made it impossible for us to go through with this plan.

However, thanks to a wonderful steel frame, built and donated by Brett Wilson of MW Waterscapes, we have launched, created the first step of our Waypoint, a place to show art, a reason to stop.

Our inaugural showing in 2022 was a unique print, Vespers/Thunder by Patricia Watwood, from her series Montello Book of Hours. Her creative response to the Sagebrush Desert was to mark the conscious presence of that time and place: those particular sunsets and moonrises, storms and clear skies, that rabbit, that coyote. With the theme of honoring the sacredness of the earth, and cultivating mindfulness, she made an artwork cycle based on the Book of Hours, a medieval illustrated prayer book.

Not such a pressing Question by Elisabeth Condon

For 2023 we featured Elisabeth Condon with Not such a pressing Question depicting a synesthetic landscape conflating location and memory through color, scale, and pattern. Translating the decisive strokes of ink brush painting into projected swoops or slab-like markings re-envisions landscape as synthetic, torn apart and reassembled as collage.

In 2024 we are now showing Annie Varnot with Montello Sunstorm. Varnot writes: These series of paintings utilize the language of abstraction and representation in painting to narrate, honor, and illuminate my unique and contemporary perspective of the land I roamed. The resource imagery comes from photographs, memories, and sketches along the trails. Multiple perspectives in the paintings tragically hint - through depictions of meteorological phenomena, fires, fractured spaces, and voids - human impact on the natural world.

More is planned, a proper parking lot for example, we will keep you posted. In the meantime, we hope you can stop by on your way through the West, three miles North of Montello, NV on the way to Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels.

Montello Sunstorm by Annie Varnot

The Waypoint is located three miles North of Montello, NV on NV 233.