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Photo exhibit showcasing Nevadans, cultural identity opens at state museum in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — “Find Your Folklife: We Are ‘the Folk,’ All of Us,” is on display at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas; an online version of the innovative photo exhibit also is available on the museum’s website. The exhibit originally debuted in July at the Winchester-Dondero Cultural Center.

“We’re proud to offer this photo exhibit, which provides a nuanced look at cultural identity and how that is expressed by Nevadans,” Sarah Hulme, who manages the museum’s photos and outreach, said.

The exhibit, curated by the Nevada Arts Council Folklife Program, features photographs of Nevadans dressed to represent different cultural identities, each paired with a photograph of the same person in “everyday” dress as he or she might appear at home, work, or enjoying recreational activities. These photo pairs have been combined on “lenticular two-flip” panels so that as the viewer approaches, he or she sees just one of the photos. As the viewer passes by the panel, it “flips” to the other image as though by magic. The effect is created by interleaving the images on narrow strips that are refracted through an overlying lens to create the startling “two-flip” effect. Each image pair is accompanied by a statement in the model’s own words that speaks to some aspect of cultural community or identity.

Folklife, folk arts, and folklore all spring from cultural identity, which comes from belonging to a social group, according to Nevada Arts Council Folklife Specialist Rebecca Snetselaar. Family heritage — national or ethnic — often informs a person’s sense of self. Cultural identity also may derive from language, gender, religion, age, occupation, and sense of place. Culture is something we share with others in a social group. It’s our folklife: our common values and beliefs, the creative ways we express identity in a group, the knowledge we share, the objects that hold significance and meaning, the activities we engage in as a community.

“Find Your Folklife: We Are ‘the Folk,’ All of Us,” can be seen at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, 309 S. Valley View Blvd. in Las Vegas (on the Springs Preserve campus). The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday. For museum info and ticket information, visit

EDITORS: For an image from the exhibit, click here.

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, is one of seven state museums, and is part of the Nevada Division of Museums and History. The Nevada Division of Museums and History preserves, shares and promotes the understanding and celebration of Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage for the enrichment of all generations. Details:

The Nevada Arts Council is part of the Nevada Division of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. Its mission is to enrich the cultural life of the state through leadership that preserves, supports, strengthens, and makes excellence in the arts accessible to all Nevadans.

Media contacts: Sarah Hulme, Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, 702 822 8738
Rebecca Snetselaar, Nevada Arts Council, 702-486-3739