St. Mary's Art and Retreat Center | Virginia City Art Space

Built in 1875, St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center is the Grand Dame of Virginia City and is a National Historic Landmark. High up in the Virginia Range mountains, perched near old gold and silver mineshafts, in the lost in time mining town of the Comstock Era, is St Mary’s Art Center. Originally a Hospital for the Comstock miners, left empty and abandoned for many years after the Gold Rush declined, only to be saved in the 1964 by Father Meinecke, who had great foresight and a plan.
St Mary’s Hospital was dedicated to the Arts and Culture, by Father Meinecke, and the abandoned building became a living, vibrant Art Center.
Title image pochoir print by Frances Melhop




HELP!!!!! If anyone was thinking of making a donation to the Art Center NOW is the time… We are short $400 for our floor restoration, due to the bad shape of some of the original timber…. Every little bit helps!!! Please send checks to St Marys Art Center, P.O. Box 396, Virginia City. St Marys Art Center is a 501C3 non profit, and we will send you a donation receipt for tax purposes. You can also send via Paypal to Thank you thank you!!!


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photo by Carole-Ann Ricketts

Fantastic new art classes for you!

First Tuesdays – Intaglio print making with Master print maker, Nolan Preece

Every Tuesday Open studios, come use our creative spaces, 9-2pm – $15 donation suggested
Second Tuesdays After school ART 5-12 year olds 3-5.30pm (watch the calendar to register, ltd number.)
Last Tuesdays After school ART 12-18 year olds 3-5.30pm (watch the calendar to register, ltd number.)
Last Thursdays Ghost investigations at night with Virginia City Ghost tours, 8-9.30 pm

Every Friday Morning and Evening art classes with French painter Stephane Cellier
contact Stephane at

24th January Zentangles for teenagers with Kim Van Zyll
14 March Introduction to Zentangles with Kim Van Zyll
20-22 March Watercolor workshop with Eva Nichols
27-29 March Lisa Kurt will be teaching a Childrens Book Illustration workshop
11 April Introduction to Zentangles with Kim Van Zyll

25 April Reception 1-4pm, all new exhibitions opening day!

24-26 April Plein Air painting with Monika Piper Johnson
6-10 May Phyllis Shafer teaching her incredible Plein Air Painting techniques
14-17 May Barbara Moon Batista Photography techniques
16-22 June Dale Laitinen watercolor landscape class – contact Dale
Shafer,-Phyllis_Cicada's-Song_oil-on-linen_11-x-14-inches_2013-sm oil painting by Phyllis Shafer

EXHIBITIONS (November – early April)
Van Bokkelen Gallery: Nes Lerpa – large scale abstract paintings
Meinecke Gallery: Megan Berner – conceptual photography
Manogue Gallery: PANORAMA NTI travelling show (works by recipients of NAC Fellowship awards)
Art Nevada Gallery: Jessica White – contemporary portraits

Stairwell galleries – Reno High School Advanced Art
-Emily Jiang
-Tyler Hart
-Kelsey Rolling

2014 WINTER Open hours Thursday – Sunday 11am – 4pm. Visitors welcome! History Tours by appointment – email


Take some time out for self improvement taught by experienced artists , artisan craftspeople or yoga professionals.

St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center is a place where creativity can be explored in an atmosphere of quiet beauty and isolation. Just far enough off the beaten track to be peaceful but close enough to the eclectically, vintage town of Virginia City to find atmosphere, eccentric characters and fun things to do, along with some lovely places to eat….

St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center is available for rental year round for creative workshops, artist retreats, functions, events and groups, business meetings and business incentive retreats, family reunions, writer’s workshops, church groups, yoga and martial arts, meditation and more. More About Art Retreats We believe creativity is developed within the group – individuals coming together and through collaboration and connection; synthesizing a solution greater than the minds and sums of its parts.

Take a tour of one of Virginia City's most Historic Landmarks.

St. Mary’s Art & Retreat Center, a National Historic Landmark, was formerly known as the St. Mary Louise Hospital. Built in 1875 by the Daughters of Charity and Father Patrick Manogue, this four-story, gabled, red brick structure with Doric columns sits on land donated by Mary Louise Mackay, wife of one of the four Bonanza Kings. More About Historical Tours

View collectable artworks in one of our 6 Gallery spaces, visit our Resident artists and watch their work in progress

Let us take you on a magical journey into the world of St Mary’s, Virginia City then and now, surrounded by the artworks of established and emerging artists More About Art Galleries

Art workshops to stimulate your own creative process, join us to retreat, create, rest, and learn.

Writers Retreats, Crafters Retreats, Yoga Retreats, Business Meetings, Lectures, Ghost Tours through St Mary’s and Virginia City, School Trips, Archaeological sites. More About Our Other Services

Why Visit St. Mary’s?

St Mary’s is situated approximately 40 minutes from Lake Tahoe and 30 minutes above Reno.
Wander through our 6 galleries and view original art works by established national and international artists. The St Mary’s permanent collection is housed throughout the guest rooms.

Our stair-wells are dedicated to art by the region’s youth, taking their first steps into the arts. Our tours by appointment combine both history and art.

Take a glimpse into the story and lives of individuals who built, worked, visited and stayed at the hospital.
Create your own art in our lovely old historic mansion’s creative spaces.

Experience breathtaking sunrises and sunsets from our “hundred mile” view. See the stars every night.


We’ve thought of everything – every amenity and comfort of home for your stay to be perfect.

Great coffee in the morning and great social gatherings at night.

Contact us for your own creative and historic Virginia City experience! Our visitors always come back!!!