Episode 525

In this episode of ARTEFFECTS: learn about a Reno-based muralist's latest creation that invokes an important message; see how Ohio-based Scenic Solutions creates backdrops to performances; meet a pet photographer in Florida; get energized by music educator who goes by the nickname, "Chadzilla."

AIRED: August 06, 2020 | 0:26:46

- In this edition of ARTEFFECTS,

a Reno muralist creates a powerful message.

- Being controversial is probably a good thing.

Like every artist that I've seen that's been noticed

is always like painting something

that's relevant and needed to be said.

- [Guinevere] Providing a backdrop to live productions.

- [Chadwick] We make the magic happen

mostly backstage behind the scenes.

Because we are a custom shop, not a single job is the same.

- [Guinevere] A photographer's focus

on four legged subjects.

- [Adam] The goal of each photograph

is to bring out the pet's personality.

Whenever I show someone their pet's photo,

they're like, "Oh my God, that's him.

"That you can capture fluffy right there."

- [Guinevere] And the rock and roll musician

electrifies his students.

- [Chad] My deep down 100% focus

is to help them become themselves as musicians.

- It's all ahead on this edition of ARTEFFECTS.

(bright jazzy music)

- [Announcer] Funding for ARTEFFECTS is made possible by

the Bently Foundation, Sandy Raffeealli,

The June S. Wisham Estate, Kate & Richard Kenny,

The Nell J. Redfield Foundation,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by.

- Hello, I'm Guinevere Clark and welcome to ARTEFFECTS.

Joe C. Rock is no stranger to public art in Northern Nevada.

His beautiful murals can be found all over Reno.

Joe was recently commissioned

to create a temporary mural at Reno City Hall,

which suffered damage to its windows back in May.

We meet up with Joe to learn about the mural

and its message.

(suspenseful music)

- I've been painting murals for about 10 years.

What I love about being an artist

is making stuff that people enjoy and like sometimes don't,

and then really being able to say things

that I would like to say.

- The windows at City Hall were damaged

and we boarded up the windows temporarily.

And in the meantime, before we replaced the glass,

our public art committee wanted to put up a mural.

They selected Joe C. Rock to do a social justice mural

on these boards.

- We thought immediately to do it

as a black lives matter kind of statement

and make it, you know, something that was relevant

to what was going on at the moment.

Just going across the mural,

it's two large words that say equality and unity.

The word equality, it starts with having the solid fist,

which is surrounded by like gradients of color.

And the whole thing is a gradient of color, you know,

to include all kinds of people.

Alice Smith was an activist here in the area.

She has a school named after her,

so there's a school below her.

Colin Kaepernick, I thought that was essential.

That was one of my main statements

that I wanted to make painting the mural.

He's from Reno and little kids know what it is visually

like seeing the person kneeling, they know what's going on.

And so I thought it was a bold statement to say.

Then in the middle, is the kid holding the sign

that has a little explanation

of like what black lives matter means.

So with that,

it was just like a bunch of images come together,

kind of a collage, which I do a lot of collage style work.

So just kind of doing that on a larger scale

and just incorporating all these images that I had

and already wanted to use.

What this mural means to me is really

just kind of a reflection of what's going on

with the black lives matter movement,

with just everything that's going on right now.

I try to just like bleed Reno's hearts out.

(upbeat music)

- We have gotten a lot of response from citizens

who are grateful that the city

put something up on these boards

that acknowledges what's happening

in the community right now,

that we've hired a black artist to do this

so that they can speak from their own point of view.

We've also heard from folks who are not extremely happy

that the city has put this on our City Hall.

It's not actually a partisan issue in any way,

it's really a human rights and social justice issue,

but you know, there are different point of views

on what that should look like.

We're recognizing more and more that public art

really can sort of feed that voice and that identity

in the community and can help people feel

like they're really part of the community.

- It's amazing to see how many people are in support

and how many people stand up and say they're in support.

And that is great.

That's the only thing way things are gonna change.

It's not gonna change by the people

who are being affected, really.

It's the people that are watching them like that

are gonna be able to say something.

So that's what's great and that's what's needed.

So that's like what I'm really excited about.

- To learn more about this artist,

visit or find him on Instagram @joecrock13.

For more than 20 years,

Scenic Solutions has been bringing

a variety of shows to life.

Based in Ohio, this scenery shop create singular designs

that reach audiences across the globe.

(gentle chiming music)

- Anybody can build scenery.

And it's the details that really make it a show

and help create this whole environment

as opposed to just scenery on stage,

we kind of build an atmosphere

and an environment into everything we do.

- We are a small company, but we produce big, big things.

We just got done with a national tour of Blue Man Group,

which will be all over the country.

And the amount of scenery that we turned out for that show

was just astronomical.

That's what blows my mind the most

is that we're able to produce such large productions

with such a small group of people.

- We serve a multitude of industries.

We work anywhere from high school theater level

to first run Broadway tours.

We also build entertainment for the cruise line industry.

We make the magic happen mostly backstage,

behind the scenes.

Because we are a custom shop,

not a single job is the same.

Not a single client needs the same thing,

not a single material we use is the same.

There are days when there's no one in the shop

and there are days when there's 40 people in the shop.

There are days when I have six crews all over the world

at any given point in time,

we might have eight to 20 projects

in different stages within the company.

We have a lot of good people working here.

- Scenic Solutions has been in business for 24 years.

We started with a sewing room

in the basement of our old house.

Dan was working for the Dayton Ballet

as a lighting designer,

and I was freelancing as a custom designer and seamstress.

And pretty soon Scenic Solutions became our life.

Dan is my business partner,

he's the president of Scenic Solutions, he is my husband.

It's a very busy place.

I sometimes say it is so chaotic that you can't keep up.

There's never two days that are the same.

- The clients come up with the creative designs

and then myself and the other production managers

and drafters take all of their ideas

and turn them into something we can actually build

and create all of the drawings

that we give to the carpenters.

- I take drawings from designers and draftsmen and engineers

and communicate them to the guys working under me

and we turn it into reality.

I feel like the welding department

is the backbone of most of the things that are built here.

We always start with a structure,

is just the nature of scenery

that you have to start with a structure.

And then you make it look like something entirely different.

The way scenery is today, most of it has to be portable,

be lightweight, durable,

and that's what the metal structure gives you.

With touring shows, it has to last for a year, if not more.

As far as a cruise ship show goes,

we do have weight constraints when it comes to cruise ships,

so you've got to keep things light.

- The cruise line industry

definitely presents unique challenges.

Typically when you go to a Broadway show,

the theater does not move.

On a cruise line, the theater moves.

That base is a lot of our decision making

on how to build stuff.

The other unique challenge of a cruise line

is getting your scenery, lighting props into the theater.

They never design big enough doors

to get the items into the cruise ship.

Typically, the crew will have to carry the scenery

through the cruise ship in the middle of the night

when everyone's asleep up the stairwells into the theaters.

And that is a unique situation.

- I recently went to Italy for a single day

to do a site survey on a cruise ship

that we're working on there.

This is the room everything will load into

through that door.

I also took all of the measurements of the doorways

and the hallways and our path

from getting everything from the loading dock

through the ship and into the theater.

And made sure that everything broke down

into a small enough piece to fit through that path.

- It's definitely worth the cost

because we know things are gonna fit

as opposed to sending a piece of scenery

or an entire show to the other side of the world

and then it not being able to fit through the door

to get it onto the ship.

That would be the big expense.

One thing that would blow their minds,

I would say probably that they've seen a lot of our work

and they just haven't realized it.

We've got a lot of stuff all over the Dayton area,

but you'd never, unless you work there,

you'd never know that we actually did it.

We kind of sneak in, sneak out.

So we're not, you know, visible out to the general public.

- [Chadwick] We helped Kettering Fairmont school district

consult and install rigging, lighting,

and the orchestra shell for their new theater.

We work for the Schuster Center downtown Dayton,

Victoria Arts Association.

- [Mary Beth] It's really hard to think

of what the coolest thing

that came through Scenic Solutions is.

Blue Man Group's pretty cool,

but getting to do the Rike's boxes.

Starting in the 1940s, Rike's Department Store

did a display every year at Christmas.

People that have lived here or grew up here,

if you say something about the Rike's elves,

they talk about how they used to go see them

when they were kids.

It's a very big part of Dayton's Christmas holiday.

We originally built the boxes that the Rike's elves were in

about 15 years ago,

and then last year they approached us

and asked for new boxes with new scenes inside.

It feels amazing to give this gift to Dayton.

We've been part of the Dayton community for a long time

but to get the chance to give such a big project

back to the community feels great.

- To learn more, visit

Now it's time for this week's art quiz.

In the animated film "Up,"

how many balloons did animators create

to allow Carl Fredricksen's house to float through the air?

Is the answer A: 5,130;

B: 10,297;

C: 15,130;

or D: 20,297?

And the answer is B: 10,297.

Up next, we travel to Tampa, Florida

to meet pet photographer, Adam Goldberg.

He takes adorable photographs of animals

and encourages pet rescue and adoption.

(playful jazzy music)

- So I got started in pet photography

because I worked in an animal shelter.

Worked there for two years

and it was there where I actually learned

how to work with animals and take photos.

I was doing adoption photos

at the Humane Society here in Tampa

and just doing it for fun on the weekends.

And they asked me a few months in,

"Hey, we love your pictures,

"we think the community would love them too.

"Will you host a photo shoot fundraising event for us?"

And at that point, this was two years ago,

I had no idea how to do that, how to get people to sign up,

the marketing behind it.

It went very well, sold out,

hosted another one, that one sold out,

hosted another one, that sold out.

Then I started reaching out

to other animal shelters in Florida, those sold out.

So, it took off because they just had a simple request.

And that simple request turned into a career for me.

And since that first event, it was in July of 2016,

posted about 200 pet photo shoot fundraisers

across the country

and we just surpassed about $71,000 in donations.

The goal of each photograph

is to bring out the pet's personality.

Whenever I show someone their pet's photo,

they're like, "Oh my God, that's him,

"that you captured Fluffy right there."

To get a good picture at a photo session

it's important to have a calm demeanor.

The dog will feed off energy of me, of their owner,

then I make a fool out of myself,

noises, squeaks, squeals, I bark sometimes.

And the other thing is treats

and I use a lot of peanut butter, too.


It's important for shelter animals to have great photos

because social media nowadays is so prominent

and without that, without a good quality picture,

they're just gonna get ignored.

Suncoast Animal League gets a lot of interesting animals

that have been through turmoil or trouble

and I was doing a pet photo shoot fundraiser for them

and one of the foster parents had Clover

and asked if she could bring her in for a photo shoot

just to document her progress.

- Clover was actually caught in a fire,

her family was in a shed and the mom, Daisy,

pulled some of the puppies out

and actually she was found

laying on top of some of the puppies protecting them.

A few of the puppies had little marks on them,

but Clover kind of got the brunt of it

where it looks like maybe

one of the pen panels fell on top of her

and burned her pretty badly.

When she came to us, her immune system was so compromised

that not only was she healing the wounds

on the outside from the burns,

but she had some immune system issues on the inside

that we had to work through as well.

So, she's a little fighter.

Adam is an amazing photographer.

He does a lot of good things for the rescues in the area.

Suncoast Animal League shared that fundraiser

and photos of Clover on their Facebook page

and through that exposure,

Madeira Beach happened to be following our page.

- Our secretary, Trish Heaton, saw posts about Clover

being up for adoption at Suncoast Animal League,

and Clover was great, she came by, we liked her story

and she's just a real sweetheart.

So, we chose her and it's been great.

- With Clover being adopted by the fire department

I was so proud,

and it was just amazing to see her walk down

in the commission meeting with her badge on

and to give kisses to her new family

and just know what kind of life she's gonna have

and the lives she's gonna touch.

You know, the kids that see her that have scars

and see what a fighter she is and just how strong she is.

And the help that she's giving to the fire fighters,

'cause they go out and they see some pretty bad stuff

on a daily basis and to come home to her

and she's aways happy and wagging her tail

and happy to see them.

- It makes the station feel more like a home.

The job can be stressful and it's real nice

to be able to come back to the station

and know Clover will be here.

- I was able to do a photo shoot with her again

as a follow-up and the fire fighters were there.

It was amazing, we did some photos in front of the truck

and it was awesome.

Clover is the best dog for what she's doing now.

- We plan to involve her in public education

and teach-ins and stuff like that.

And fire safety programs that we do with the schools

and so she will have a job.

- Stop, drop and roll.

Good girl, Clover.

- I have a project called The Shelter Pet Cutout Project,

and the idea behind that

is to put these life-sized pet cutouts

at community businesses

and they wear a tag that says this dog

represents the hundreds of shelter animals available

for adoption on a daily basis.

And the reason for that is I wanted

to put my photography out there

but also put it in places where people don't expect it.

Not everyone's going to the shelter,

not everyone's going to the shelter website.

For this first round of cutouts,

we did six dogs and they've all been adopted.

So, I started the Pit Bull Picture Project

which uses my style of photography,

which is the goofy, the silly, the funny side

and portrays pit bulls in a positive light

to inspire more pet adoptions.

So, the idea behind the project

is to show the goofy and lovable side,

dispel some of the myths,

and it actually got national attention,

it was in Huffpost and People magazine.

Through the projects that I'm working on,

getting extra attention to pit bulls or shelter animals,

I'm doing my job.

I adopted my dog, Rigby, when I worked at the animal shelter

and it was the best day of my life

when I rescued him and brought him home.

He was four months old at the time.

The funny thing is, I never had a dog growing up,

so I didn't really know how to care for a dog,

so Rigby kind of taught me.

Knowing that I'm contributing

to people finding family members in the furry variety

is so heartwarming to me, 'cause I'm making a difference.

- To learn more about Adam Goldberg, visit

Drummer and music educator, Chad Chadzilla Johnson

teaches the art of rock and roll.

We head to Colorado to sit in one of his classes

and find out more about his past,

his method and how his students inspire him along the way.

- [Chad] Two, three, four.

(upbeat drumming music)

- He's very energetic.

- Bo-blap-bo-blap-bo-blap.

- He kind of shows you how you're supposed to play

a certain part.

- He's very relaxed, but makes sure you get the work done.

- Dude.

- Yeah, I'm having a really fun time.

- [Jeffrey] He's the perfect leader for newcomers

to the band scene.

- It's just really fun to play with a band,

if you haven't had any band experience before.

- [Jeffrey] He's the unique staple

of the Swallow Hill Music Association,

House of Rock Music Camp since 2007.

- Yeah!

I like to call myself a musician, and a music educator.

♪ It's moving out

- [Jeffrey] An educator with flair.

- When I fill out census forms or whatever,

or even tax forms, I say I'm a music educator.

Because I think musician is a red flag right, immediately.

And even worse if you put drummer. (laughs)

I play guitar, and bass, and keyboard,

and sing, and write music,

and play a lot of percussion instruments too.

But really I have a career in the music industry

because of my drumming.

- [Jeffrey] Chad Johnson, AKA Chadzilla,

breaks the youth in with rock and roll.

- This week is, we call it The First Band.

Then stop.

I like to call it First Band, because it's for students.

We've got kids from 12 to 16 years old in this camp.

This is their first band,

and the whole purpose of this is to like,

help kids understand what it's like to be in a band.

- [Jeffrey] What better way to learn rock and roll,

then from a rock and roll veteran?

- I've played every big venue really, in Colorado,

from Red Rocks and Fiddler's Green,

and the Fillmore, The Boulder Theater.

- [Jeffrey] Who's got stories galore.

- One of the best stories for me, when I knew really,

when I knew that I wanted to do this

for the rest of my life,

I was playing a college frat party in Greeley.

And there I was, 13 years old, playing a frat party.

I could get all the free Dr. Pepper I wanted.

I had Doritos, any kind of chip I wanted there.

All the college girls thought I was so cute.

Aw, so cute, and I got paid 50 bucks.

- [Jeffrey] Girls, chips, and drag?

- I started an '80s cover band,

and we did the Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks.

And we did that on a Thursday,

and then on Sunday we dressed in drag

to play the Lions Lair,

the same band for like a thing to combat domestic violence.

- [Jeffrey] Those were the days.

But things change, well sort of.

- I don't drink Dr. Pepper anymore.

I don't really eat Doritos anymore.

But I don't make much more than 50 bucks

for a gig anymore, so.

- [Jeffrey] From his heart.

- He is listening.

- [Jeffrey] It's really about the kids now.

- My really, my deep down, 100% focus

is to help them become themselves as musicians,

and to make their own band,

and to go out and be part of the music community in Denver.

Dude, you got it bro!

I am, for them, what I wanted when I was their age.

- [Jeffrey] Chadzilla has the personality.

- When you play this song, with this band,

we will worship you.

- [Jeffrey] Coupled with a special way

of connecting to the students.

- It's kind of something that I'm pretty proud of actually.

We develop a really good relationship.

You know, the students, kind of right off the bat.

- He definitely connects with us,

and tries to create a good family,

and make us really a band,

because before, we were just some people.

And now we're together, working together and creating music.

- I treat them as people.

I treat them as musicians

that are just a little bit closer to the beginning

of their musical journey.

And I love to tell them that I'm just the same as you,

I'm just older and more experienced.

But I'm just a musician, just further down the line.

Just like you.

- [Jeffrey] And that knack

for generating interest in learning.

- At first, I really, really didn't wanna be here.

My mom signed me up for this, and I didn't want to go.

But I learned that it was better and better.

And I eventually actually really enjoyed coming here.

- Our piano player this week, Charlotte,

the first thing she said when she walked in the door,

I asked her what she plays, she said she plays the triangle.

I was like good, right on,

well you're gonna play the rectangle too, it's the keyboard.

And the circle, which is the tambourine.

- [Jeffrey] And above all, it's just fun.

Like the bucket of, what?

- Bucket of fish, yeah. - Bucket of fish.

- Yeah, bucket of fish, bucket of fish.

I love to use little toddler references

to help kids remember certain things, especially drummers.

It's kind of fun to get these things in your head

to remember what they sound like and how to play them.

Learning how to count as a musician,

and learning how to read music is very important

in that process of them learning how to read music,

and learning the theory,

and learning the techniques of their instrument.

Just these things that can get in their brain

that just can help them remember.

The bucket of fish is this cool little thing,

that if you go and you see a live band play,

once the drummer gets done with the song,

you'll hear them go. (imitates drumming)

That's a bucket of fish.

That was wicked!


And so it's funny to just remind Eli,

at the end of the song, bucket of fish.


- [Jeffrey] And in the end,

he'll leave his mark of joy like only he and music can.

- I really hope that they can, more than anything,

have confidence in themselves.

To find themselves, to find themselves musically,

and really, more than anything,

just that music will bring you joy.

And when you're in dark times in your life

and you know, strange stuff is happening with your family

or with your friends or whatever,

that you can pick up your guitar

or you can sit at your drums,

and in 10 minutes you'll feel better.

That's really what it's about for me.

- Discover more at

And that wraps it up for this edition of ARTEFFECTS.

For more arts and culture, and to watch past episodes,


We will see you next week.

Thanks for watching.

- [Announcer] Funding for ARTEFFECTS is made possible by

the Bently Foundation, Sandy Raffealli,

The June S. Wisham Estate, Kate & Richard Kenny,

The Nell J. Redfield Foundation,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by.

(bright jazzy music)


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