Artists, residents, and Nevada Magazine staff attending the artists’ open house.
Entry foyer to the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home


In August 2018, I was contacted by Connie Johnson and Sandi TenBoer from the new Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks that was scheduled to open in mid-2019, asking if we could sell them some photos for the facility. They had a limited budget and tried purchasing Nevada photos from a stock photo company, but were disappointed in the choices.

I talked with our Art Director Kippy Spilker, which led to one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever been involved in. Kippy has a close relationship with our contributing photographers, managing the Nevada Photographers Facebook page and holding several FOCUS events around the state (more on FOCUS below). 

She felt some of the photographers would be interested in donating their art and then the only expense to the home would be printing and framing. She put the word out on Facebook and the response was overwhelming! Within a half hour of the post, images started coming in from all over the state. The photographers were very excited about this project and in the end more than 750 photos were donated for consideration.  

Comments from the donors were so positive:

 Sounds like a wonderful project. I am interested as well. With so many fantastic photographers donating, the results will be stunning.  

What you are doing for the photographers here is amazing. What a way to promote our great state and recognize the great photographers.  

Award of gratitude presented to Publisher Janet Geary and Art Director Kippy Spilker

Then the real hard work began. Each wing of the facility had a different theme, so the photos needed to be organized into categories, such as aspen, bristlecone, bighorn, and coyote. The staff at the home sent a list of their choices and the photographers sent Kippy and Senior Graphic Designer Alexandria Olivares-Wenzel their high-resolution images. 

Award of gratitude presented to Publisher Janet Geary and Art Director Kippy Spilker, by Sandi TenBoer

The photographers were offered the chance to dedicate images to family or friends that were veterans, and it was touching to see these dedications next to many of the photos. The results were a huge success. The staff of the new facility held a reception for the contributing photographers and magazine staff in October 2019. We were honored to see the photos, each professionally framed by Nevada Fine Arts in Reno with brass plaques containing the photographers’ names and dedications. 

This was an emotional experience for all concerned, and the incredible imagery will live on in the hallways of this beautiful facility for years to come. Thank you to Connie and Sandi for allowing us to be a part of this project and a big congratulations to Kippy, Alex, and our Nevada photographers for the generous donation of their time and talents to this worthwhile project.

Northern Nevada State Veterans Home
36 Battle Born Way
Sparks, NV 89431, 775-827-2955

Special thanks to the following photographers who generously donated images, and our apologies to anyone we inadvertently missed.

Klaus Altemueller, Carol Foldvary Anderson, Paul Anthony, Lauren Arends, Lori Bellis, Lydia Bruegge, Larry Burton, Joshua Buscay, Terryn Cassar, Christine Dallas, Maria Denzler, Dennis Doyle, Lori S. Drew, Steve Dudrow, Brett Fisher, Kathy Fisher, Lizzie Flower, Sean Gallian, Scott W. Gonzalez, Jackie Gorton, Wally Hawkins, Michael Herzog, Lori Hibbett, David Homen, Fred Howland, Nancy Hulsey, Janis Knight, Melissa Knight, Kazue Kurebayashi, Kent LeFevre, Neil Lockhart, Tiffany Miley, Lee Molof, Rick Mosher, Lora Myles, Bradley O’Connell, Vivan Powers, Kimberly Reedy, Steve Rymers, MaryLou Schindler, Linda Seibert, Paige Shaw, Kippy S. Spilker, Lynn Starnes, Kim Steed, Deborah Sutherland, Sharlea Taft, Theresa Vankuiken, Mark Vollmer, Denise D. Walker, Matthew Welch, Cindy Whitaker, Laura White, Sandra Whitteker, Michelle Yup

FOCUS stands for Friendship Open-mindedness Collaboration Understanding Success. The sixth and seventh photography seminars are scheduled in Las Vegas in February 2020 and Carson City in summer 2020, respectively. Each event is set to feature great speakers who generously donate their time and talents to assist those looking to gain new photography skills. To attend this all-day seminar visit
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