Pan Pantoja is the founder and Executive Director of the Potentialist Workshop. He likes to talk about growing up in Montana and hangs out with his baby boy whenever he isn't working on something crafty. That's him, a wizard of the arts! Or as some would call him, the Arte Monstre of Sunshine Alley. He rolls up his sleeves, takes out the trash and likes to wear overalls. Overall, he's one heck of a fella. Aside from contributing to the hazardous fishing industry by consuming ALL-you-can-eat sushi in the Heart of the Biggest Little City in the World, but hey! Who can really blame him? Tokyo Sushi is legit.
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Pan Pantoja has taught art for 20 years- including theater, art, mural painting, and poetry. Under his coaching, his students have won at the state level and competed at the national level three times in the National Poetry Out Loud Competition. Pan worked as an Artist in Residence for Sierra Arts from 2005-2012. During his residency, he created several programs which benefited at risk youth throughout the community, especially juveniles at the Jan Evans Correctional Facility. He is on the Nevada Arts Council Artist in Residence. He also worked for the Lake Tahoe Shakesphere company's Young Shakes program every summer.
Pan has produced dozens of plays and produced multiple movies including Ali. He has painted the longest murals in Reno and creates on average one mural a month. He signed a book deal to publish 60 plus books releasing 20 new works a year. Pan has for the past 13 years had one solo visual art show per year at a gallery or museum.
Currently, he is the creator and Executive Artist of the Potentialist Workshop. He is the creator of Reno Arts Works, which is a successful collaborative artistrun gallery on Dickerson Road. He was cofounder of the Salvagery artist collective, and helped greatly in the starts of Holland Project, the Generator inc., and Spoken Views Poetry Collective.
In addition, Pan has been honored with several awards. Most Notably, in 2012 he was awarded the Kristine NagyJohnson award for teaching and serving atrisk youth. Also, in 2008, he was included in Art Buzz, an international publication. He has won several grant purchase awards from the Reno Public Arts Commission, and in 2014 he won a NEA purchase award for a large scale sculpture.
In 2019-2021, Pan is the Poet Laureate of the city of Reno. Weapons of Mass Creation, a band in which Pan performs as a vocalist/poet, is looking forward to releasing their newest album in 2020. He continues to paint murals, draw, sculpt, and do art fortunes. But his greatest creation to date is a little kid called Axiom Pantoja. Pan is a Potentialist artist dedicated to social change and pushing our modern Renaissance.