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Fine Art Exhibitions

We are proud to offer seasonal and permanent art exhibitions in our 7 art galleries, featuring exquisite works by amazing fine artists and makers.

1st Floor Exhibitions:  Pam Brekas + Wishes and Dreams

2nd Floor:  Historical Museum Exhibition + Artisan Gallery

3rd Floor:  Northern Nevada Artists & Themes (Permanent Collection) + A Social Weaving Project

4th Floor:  Virginia City Characters & Town + Mimi Patrick


Members receive complimentary admission to art galleries and historical tours: 

Please share your opinions and priorities with us:  

  • Loading days...

    1 hr

    From 4 US dollars

Opens March 31, 2024

Exhibition Closes:  July 9, 2024

Spring Art Reception & SMAC 60th Anniversary Celebration: 

May 18, 1-4pm

Pam Brekas…………………..Absolutely Abstracts


Artist Statement: 

"Whether I consider myself an abstract acrylic artist or a mixed media painter, I know “intuitive artist” should be part of my description.  Using whatever materials are at hand and convenient, I  begin on paper or canvas, often using acrylic glazes, linoleum brayers and kitchen spatulas.  Color and texture emerge as I either continue painting, adding exotic handmade papers, colored pencil or acrylic pens.  Layers build upon layers giving me either simple patterns, but more than likely complex overlays.  I have no preconceived notion of what will emerge within the painting, and at some time the painting feels completed and I stop.  Perhaps it is the wild child artist inside me who continues to want to create.


However I approach creativity, I want to enjoy myself and have fun."


Pam was first introduced to St. Mary’s Art Center through the Dusty Roads Artist Trail, where rural artists were invited to SMAC for a weekend of creativity, collaboration, and camaraderie.  She will bring her interactive artist survival kit she created during one of those weekends as a special addition for the reception. 


Pam spent her working life as a high school art and English teacher in California and reinvented herself as a professional artist, photographer and jeweler after retiring.  Since then, her art has received numerous awards, and is in several Nevada galleries and private collections.

Painting:  "Magic Swirl" by Pam Brekas

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What makes a wish or dream come true?  Simply by working hard or having good luck?  Perhaps manifesting it through prayer, rituals, or sacred offerings?  Imagine the variety of wishes and dreams floating through the universe at any given time.  The sheer variety!  Happy wishes, wistful dreams, fervent wishes for a better outcome…so many. 


What if you could help manifest that dream or wish simply by writing it down and sharing it?  If your wish could inspire others while helping yourself, wouldn’t that be an amazing gift?

Located on the First Floor

Open for Viewing Now

Experience the 2023 Wishes & Dreams Here


There are approximately 8.0 billion people living on the planet, 326.7 million in the United States, and over 3 million in Nevada.  Imagine, if you can, how many different personalities, preferences, imaginations, dreams, and priorities that means.

This modest interactive project aims to visually showcase the diversity of the vision for those who choose to participate. 


Are you more interested in adding to the clouds, the sun, or maybe you prefer a giant X to mark a spot?  What color will you choose?  Is your color choice among the majority, or the minority?

Look closely, see what others have done before you.  Add your own layer of imagination to the 2024 evolution of the piece.


This is the weaving of the individuals who come together to form one work of art through their differences and interests.

Located on the Third Floor

Open for Participation Now

Larry Williamson Great Basin Cookie Cage 2006.jpg


St. Mary's Art Center has been an artistic and cultural staple of Virginia City and the Comstock since 1964.  Thousands of artists and makers have taught, learned, created, and collaborated within our walls.  As an 1876 historic cornerstone and former hospital, the property is often a favorite subject for artists, or as a prized location to view and paint Virginia City.  

Throughout the years, artists, makers, photographers, and writers have donated their work to our permanent collection.  This is an outstanding exhibition that artistically represents the state of Virginia City throughout the years, as well as the restoration evolution of the art center.  This exhibition is displayed throughout the 3rd floor gallery, guest rooms, studios, and more.

Our latest acquisition is this magnificent sculpture by the late Larry Williamson, titled "Great Basin Cookie Jar Cage".  Larry's work has been represented by Stremmel Gallery, collected for decades, and is pure genius. 


View the permanent collection and experience a diverse showcase of Comstock Art.

Open for Viewing Now


Virginia City is proudly known for its unique residents, merchants, and "characters".  Several of these unique individuals are well known by locals and visitors alike.

Danette Steele's watercolor exhibition of her chosen subjects draws viewers in to see the personalities of some of our great residents, former and present-day.  View her body of work on the fourth floor, between the arts library and theatre.  These characters are the perfect group to welcome guests to the top floor of this historic former hospital.

Open for Viewing Now

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