Art auction to benefit local artist and University graduate

4/28/2009 - By: Zanny Marsh

As a gallery preparator for the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, Devin Hosselkus set up exhibits for visiting artists of six major shows. Now those artists and members of the local art community are raising money for Hosselkus at a May 3 art auction at the Studio on 4th from 2 - 5 p.m.

Last February, Hosselkus was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare cancer that occurs in or close to the bone and most often affects those between 10 and 20. Hosselkus is 24.

The disease has metastasized into lungs. Medical expenses are mounting and Hosselkus' supplemental health insurance will soon expire.

"Devin is a special person and an amazing artist whose career is just beginning," said Marjorie Vecchio, Sheppard Art Gallery director. "This auction came together really quickly because so many people care about him and are looking for ways to help."

In 2007, the City of Reno commissioned Hosselkus to paint a mural on the vacant building at the northwest corner of South Virginia and First streets as part of the redevelopment project.

"It was obvious from the start that Devin has a special talent and we were really proud to have him join our public art collection," said Christine Fey, City of Reno arts and culture manager. "Devin did the work as a donation to his community."

In April 2008, Hosselkus received the Dean's Award for Performance and Artistry from Heather Hardy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He earned a bachelor's degree in art one month later.

Until treatment postponed his trip, Hosselkus was scheduled to spend the month of April as an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the largest international artists' and writers' Residency Program in the U.S.

"It is very unusual for someone without a master's degree to receive a residency and fellowship support," Vecchio said. "It is an impressive achievement that demonstrates that Devin's work already is gaining international recognition."

The Reno native is commuting between Reno and San Francisco for treatment. Travel and maintaining a residence in two cities has increased living expenses.

"Cancer treatment carries a huge financial burden, especially for someone without sufficient insurance coverage," Vecchio said. "This auction is a terrific way for the community to help Devin and acquire artwork from local and nationally-renown artists."

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