Art With Altitude in Truckee-Tahoe


THE HIGH SIERRA OFFERS MORE to summertime visitors than outdoor recreation. Truckee is one of 14 California Cultural Districts, and neighboring Lake Tahoe is a longtime venue for fine art festivals, Shake-speare and classical music.

This summer, Truckee and Lake Tahoe celebrate arts and culture with some signature events, including art festivals at the lake, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, and the Truckee Art & Soul ArtWalk.

The art festivals regularly feature the work of popular local artists, and Truckee-Tahoe also is a picturesque backdrop for public art.

August 9-11, 16-18, 23-25
August 30-September 1

Founded in 1973, Pacific Fine Arts Festivals produces about 20 two- and three-day events per year in the San Francisco Bay Area, High Sierra (Lake Tahoe and Mammoth) and other locations. Several of them have been ranked among the nation’s top outdoor art festivals.

In August, Lake Tahoe is home to two popular events: Tahoe City Art by the Lake, and Homewood Handcrafted Designs under the Pines.

August 9-11 (during Tahoe wooden boat week) and August 30-September 1 (Labor Day weekend), Homewood Mountain Resort hosts the Homewood Handcrafted Designs under the Pines.

Set on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, the free event from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. brings together a talented group of 50 artisans. It showcases their paintings, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, photography and other artwork.

August 16-18 and 23-25, Pacific Fine Arts Festivals presents Tahoe City Art by the Lake.

Set on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, the 10th annual Tahoe City Art by the Lake gives visitors a chance to meet with 35 artisans and craftspeople showcasing arts and crafts, photography, paintings, ceramics and more.

Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City plays host to these back-to-back weekend events, which take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. They are spread across the open grassy area overlook- ing Lake Tahoe at 760 N. Lake Blvd. right off Hwy. 28. For more information, visit

August 20-25

For 36 seasons, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival has been integral to the area’s arts and culture scene. “Sunset Serenades” is an intimate setting with five classical music concerts. Attendees bring a picnic, lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the music in an outdoor setting.

Each year, the Academy Orchestra gives 26 young musicians—recent graduates of schools such as Juilliard, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Oberlin — a chance to perform and train with working professionals.

The emerging artists come to Lake Tahoe to work with Maestro Timm Rolek, who has served as the Festival’s artistic director and principal conductor since 2002.

Alumni from the Academy Orchestra are now performing in small ensembles and with symphony orchestras throughout the country and the world. The concerts include:
Wed., Aug. 21 West End Beach, Truckee
Thurs., Aug. 22 West Shore Café, Homewood
Fri., Aug. 23 Tahoe Maritime Center Museum & Gardens, Tahoe City
Sat., Aug. 24 Squaw Valley Chapel Garden, Olympic Valley
Sun., Aug. 25 Skylandia State Park and Beach, Tahoe City
For tickets and more information, visit

September 14

The 5th annual Art & Soul ArtWalk combines visual art, live music, engaging demonstrations, beverages, small bites and more in the “heart & soul” of Truckee.

Over 500 attendees are expected for the 5th Annual Art & Soul featuring over 30 stops celebrating local artists. From 1-5 p.m., downtown Truckee’s sidewalks and shops host art, artists, and sips and bites from Truckee, Tahoe, the rest of Northern California and Reno. A percentage of proceeds go to Tahoe Truckee School of Music.

New this year, in collaboration with Truckee’s California Cultural District, the art walk will launch Truckee’s inaugural “Fall Into Art” festival in September and October. The festival will include a wide range of artistic and cultural offerings that honor Truckee’s mountain lifestyle. For more information, visit

(Photo: Tahoe Public Art)

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