The nine-member Board of the Nevada Arts Council (NAC) is appointed by the Governor of Nevada. Board members serve terms of four years and are selected for their knowledge of and experience in the arts, and to ensure geographic and ethnic representation of all areas of the state. The NAC Board advocates on behalf of the arts and arts education in Nevada, and promotes policies and viewpoints to benefit members of the creative industry and residents throughout the State of Nevada. The NAC Board attends meetings to receive public comment, to develop recommendations for cultural policies and priorities for the State of Nevada, and to approve grant allocations.

argerpic10-1-09 Board Chair Julia Arger (Reno), was reapponted by Governor Sandoval in 2012 for a second four-year term on the Board. Arger moved to Reno from Washington State in 1979 with her husband, Dr. Kosta Arger.  A twin and the youngest of seven sisters, she graduated in 1971 with a degree in English from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. After a decade of teaching high school English, she focused the next 20 years on raising their children, daughter Katarena and sons, Anthony and Nicholas. Arger was an active volunteer member of the Washoe County Medical Society Auxiliary (AWCMS), serving as its president in 1991. She was a founding member of Health Access Washoe County (HAWC) a community health clinic and served on its Board of Directors for ten years.  A constant volunteer in her children’s classrooms, she was also a member of the Junior League of Reno.  She and her family are members of St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church.

In 1993, Arger and her husband started the Nevada Museum of Art’s highly successful Wine Event, A Taste for Art, chairing it for several years. The Argers own Odyssey Vineyards in the Napa Valley and are partners in Arger-Martucci Vineyards winery located in St. Helena.  Since 1995 she has run their import company, Primavera Imports, importing Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from Italy.  When you see Arger, she is likely wearing a hat, inspired by her grandmother who was trained as a milliner in the early 1900’s.  Collecting fine art has been a passion for the Argers and they both share a keen appreciation for all aspects of the arts.

edward_1813x1949_4c Edward Estipona (Reno), has guided his agency, Estipona Group, from its founding in 1993 as a two-man design shop into a full-service marketing agency. He has overseen dozens of branding and communications programs for healthcare, nonprofit, arts and education, tourism and service-industry clients. Honored with a host of marketing awards for his firm, Estipona was named “Reno Advertising Person of the Year” at the age of 25, “Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association’s Northern Nevada Chapter, and one of the “Top 20 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Reno Gazette Journal. In 2008, Estipona Group was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award in recognition of its support of the arts. 

080412_3556 Vice-Chair Deon Reynolds (Eureka), is a fine art photographer based in the remote community of Eureka, Nevada. He’s been active in the art world since he could pick up a crayon. Reynolds and his wife, Trish, moved to Eureka in 2005 to pursue art, art making and art promotion after living in Portland, Oregon working in commercial photography. His involvement with the Nevada Arts Council began a few years before moving to Eureka as an NAC Artist in Residence grantee teaching photography across the state. He and Trish were the first Artists in Residence at Great Basin National Park in 2007. He’s also received numerous NAC grants. As co-owner of the Eureka Gallery, he’s supported regional artists through sales in their gallery and amazed travelers from all over the world with their offerings. 

Reynolds understands firsthand how bringing arts and culture to Nevada is a key element to economic development and community vitality. He’s had shows of his work all over Nevada including the Nevada State Museum Las Vegas, Sierra Arts, Churchill Arts, McKinley Arts, the Western Folklife Center, and the Northeastern Nevada Museum to mention just a few. Reynolds was named an international Spider Fellow Nominee for the 7th Annual Black and White Spider Awards in 2012—a prestigious recognition for outstanding work in black and white photography. Also, his work garnered two Honorable Mentions by The International Photography Awards in 2012. His books, “Nevada” and “Las Vegas: Portrait of a City” were published in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

7.15.13-j.schefcik2_380x420_4c Jerry Schefcik (Las Vegas) has been a Las Vegan since1961 when his father moved the family in from Nebraska.  His college career took him to Brigham Young University where he earned his BA in Art and Design and on to the University of Denver for a MA in Art History and Museum Training. He worked as Curator of Visual Arts for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, CO, and then moved to the Amarillo Art Center, Amarillo, TX as Curator of Art.  From Amarillo he returned to Las Vegas. Schefcik joined the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1989 first as Curator of the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery and then promoted to its Director in 1991. He concurrently served as Exhibitions Curator for Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art for over a decade and curator for the McCarran International Airport Arts Advisory Sub-Committee for 5 years. He has recently assumed the additional responsibility of the remodeled and refocused Marjorie Barrick Museum.
As Director of Galleries, Schefcik oversees the five satellite galleries throughout the UNLV campus, teaches the three-part Gallery Practices series and supervises the gallery internship program. In addition to his responsibilities at UNLV, he currently serves as a Commissioner for the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission.  A central figure within the ever-growing Las Vegas art scene, Schefcik demonstrates his dedication to the past, present and future art endeavors of this city by contributing much of his time as an advisor, juror, and mentor to numerous arts organizations in Las Vegas and the Western Region.

javiertrujillo Secretary-Treasurer Javier Trujillo (Henderson), has been an active member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce since 2003, and was elected to serve a 2-year term on the Board of Directors in November 2009. Trujillo, holds undergraduate and master degrees in Business Administration, and has been involved in the start-up of various businesses. Currently, Trujillo is a member of the City of Henderson’s Intergovernmental Relations Division (City Manager’s Office) where he is responsible for advocating the City’s position in all local, regional and state legislative affairs. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Trujillo has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Arizona’s School of Music, and as a music teacher at several schools in Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2002, Trujillo was recruited by the Clark County School District to develop and implement a district-wide mariachi program via a standards-based curriculum that he helped to write, and proudly served as the Mariachi Program Project Facilitator through January 2007. Trujillo's leadership in this regard has been fundamental to the development of what is now considered the premier school-based mariachi program in the nation.
Trujillo has been the recipient of various awards and special recognitions, including: 2009 Government Affairs Award – Latin Chamber of Commerce; 2009 Staff Person of the Year – Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities; 2005 Educator of the Year Award – Latin Chamber of Commerce; and 2004 Outstanding Hispanic Educator – City of Las Vegas. Trujillo is proud to be part of our new generation of young and talented Latino leaders, and looks forward to continue serving the Nevada community.


Ryrie Valdez (Reno), is the owner/buyologist of Ryrie’s Art & Home, in Reno, NV. Her gallery is a showcase of color and inspiration exhibited in paintings and handcrafts. As the storyteller for local and regional artists, she takes great pride in connecting the artist with the customer by sharing details about the artist and their works.  Valdez's art education began in the cultural-rich city of Berkeley in the 1960’s and early 70’s.  She attended UC Berkeley, taking undergraduate work in fine art and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Art History.  After graduation, she moved to Tahoe City, CA, taught art in the elementary schools and learned the art of picture framing. In 1980, she started the gallery/frame shop, Frames by Ryrie, which was a source of personal and public pride for 27 years. Valdez was very active in the art community in Tahoe City, and was a founding member of Sierra Artist’s Network, currently named, North Tahoe Fine Arts, a non-profit organization that promotes the arts in North Tahoe. 
Valdez was also a member of the Board of the Tahoe-Truckee Gallery Association, which united the galleries in the North Tahoe, Truckee, and Incline areas.  In 2006, Valdez and her husband moved back to city life, in Reno, and a year later embarked on the journey of creating a new business, Ryrie’s Art & Home.  When Valdez is not in her gallery, she is on the tennis court, socializing and playing in leagues.  She is on the Board for Reno Tennis Club, and through the work of the Board, the club was awarded a grant last year from the United States Tennis Association to resurface the six courts and make general repairs.  Valdez continues to share her passion for art with her customers and her community and looks forward to new adventures.

Irma Varela-Wynants (Las Vegas), has for 18 years, been a dedicated advocate for  the folk arts and its many contributions to building community. In 1997 her interest in folk arts impelled her to work in  the Community Roots Project launched by the Nevada Arts Council where she  documented Hispanic folk artists in Las Vegas. She also  helped coordinate the Las Vegas Folk Life Festival for three  years. In 2001 Varela-Wynants created a Day of the Dead celebration for Prince of Peace Catholic Church that developed, two years later, into Life in Death, an award-winning annual gathering of artists, musicians, food, and spirit from all of Mexico at Clark County’s Winchester Cultural Center. In 2004 Varela-Wynants started World Vibration, a concert series showcasing the international musical talents of Las Vegas residents. 
In 2006 Varela-Wynants developed World Steps to carry the same idea into the field of dance. In 2009 she helped create the program Families in Nature, in collaboration with UNLV Public Lands Institute and Southern Nevada Agency Partnership, to promote respect and stewardship of the environment. Before serving as a board member, Varela-Wynants served as a grants panelist for the Nevada Arts Council in 2008, 2009  and 2013.

img_20141107_114218_resized Annie Zucker (Reno), is a development specialist for Renown Health Foundation and is only the second person to administer the Renown Healing Arts Program since the early 1990’s. Zucker manages a cadre of more than 750 artists, musicians and volunteers, who engage with patients, perform for the public, maintain gardens and offer pet therapy to provide emotional support to patients and their families.  A native Nevadan from Reno, Annie attended Oregon State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and went on to achieve certification in non-profit management from the University of Nevada, Reno.  A member of the Global Alliance for Arts in Healthcare, Zucker is passionate and understands that healing is more than quality medical care, it is about the heart, the mind and the spirit – art, music and environment can help this process.  Under her direction, the Healing Arts Program at Renown was listed as a best practice by the American Hospital Association  in 2014. 
If not sharing her love of the arts with her husband and two young children, Cooper and Kinsley,  they can be found outside hiking and biking the beautiful northern Nevada trails.