When Julia Moreno graduated from high school, her parents took her on a road trip across the U.S. They stopped in Eureka to visit an old family friend, Wally Cuchine.
Cuchine, now retired, used to be the director of the Eureka Opera House and the Eureka Sentinel Museum. He lives in a mobile home filled floor to ceiling with artwork. Right next door, another tailer—his gallery—is also filled with artwork. Cuchine started collecting in the 1980s and amassed an estimated 2,000 pieces, amounting to what’s probably the largest collection anywhere of work by Nevada artists.
A few years after the road trip, in 2018, Moreno—then a grad student in UNR’s journalism school—took a documentary film class. Cuchine seemed like an obvious subject for a short film. Moreno’s collaborator, fellow grad student Shevawn Von Tobel, agreed.
“I’m a third generation Nevadan,” Von Tobel said. “One of the things I love about Nevada is its quirkiness.” When she heard the story about an art collector in a remote town, she signed up to be the film’s director and editor. Moreno took on the jobs of producer and scriptwriter.
Their 13-minute film, Wally’s World: The Loneliest Art Collection, debuted in spring 2018 at UNR’s Student Film Festival, and screened at the Carson International Film Weekend in Carson City. It’s scheduled to screen on July 27 at the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko, and you can also watch it right here.