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City National and RBC Wealth Management Donate $50,000 To Nevada Museum of Art “Orbital Reflector” Project

May 14, 2018

City National and RBC Wealth Management Donate $50,000 To Nevada Museum of Art “Orbital Reflector” Project

RENO, NV – City National Bank, Nevada’s Premier Private and Business Bank®, and RBC Wealth Management, today announced that they have provided the Nevada Museum of Art with $50,000 in support of artist Trevor Paglen’s Orbital Reflector project, which is scheduled to launch in October of this year.  This is the second major event in northern Nevada that City National and RBC Wealth Management have done together since the two companies merged two and a half years ago.

Trevor Paglen, the American artist behind Orbital Reflector, is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow. His work deliberately blurs lines between science, contemporary art, journalism, and other disciplines to construct unfamiliar yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world. He is best known for his documentation and critique of surveillance in the twenty-first century. Paglen’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Berkeley Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Nevada Museum of Art.

Paglen’s Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art, is a satellite that will have no commercial, military, or scientific purpose. Instead, it will be a public sculpture, visible from the ground without a telescope -- a satellite that belongs to everyone. The satellite consists of a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar. It is housed in a small box-like infrastructure known as a CubeSat and launched into space aboard a rocket. Once in low Earth orbit at a distance of about 350 miles (575 kilometers) from Earth, the CubeSat opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper.

Orbital Reflector is uniquely poised to bring art and design-based thinking to the forefront of STEAM Education. In the near future, the Nevada Museum of Art Orbital Reflector website will contain lesson plans aligned with National Core Arts Standards for students in grades 9-12. Through these learning opportunities, students can explore, contextualize and make meaning from this innovative and interdisciplinary project.

Orbital Reflector is perhaps one of our most intriguing and fascinating projects we’ve ever done at the Museum that brings art and science together,” said David B. Walker, executive director and CEO of the Nevada Museum of Art. “We’re very grateful once again that City National Bank and RBC Wealth Management teamed up to support this phenomenal project so students will be able to see themselves in a whole new light as well as those around them as they figure out how they can co-exist in an ever-changing world.”

Global Western is an aerospace firm working with Trevor Paglen and the Nevada Museum of Art to design and manufacture Orbital Reflector. Spaceflight Industries will arrange for the launch of Orbital Reflector on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX has recently completed successful missions in collaboration with NASA and the International Space Station.

Work began on this multi-year endeavor in 2015. An early model for Orbital Reflector currently hangs in the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Grand Hall. The Museum officially announced the Orbital Reflector project at its 2017 Art + Environment Conference, where artist Trevor Paglen was a keynote presenter. An archive-based interpretive exhibition about the project will open at the Museum in June 2018, to complement the fall launch.

 “This is an amazing project to be a part of and partnering with RBC Wealth Management once again makes it even that much better,” said Scott Aney, Nevada regional executive of City National.  “The Orbital Reflector project epitomizes the STEAM program and the important role it can play in helping educate our students in the areas of art of science.”

“This is another great opportunity for RBC Wealth Management and City National to support the arts in our community while promoting our two great brands,” said Peter Bessette, first vice president and branch director for RBC Wealth Management in Reno.  “Supporting the Orbital Reflector project reaffirms our commitment to education and northern Nevada.  Our support will help thousands of high school students learn more about how the arts and science complement one another.”

City National and RBC Wealth Management teamed up last year to sponsor the Unsettled exhibition that opened in September 2017 and ran through January of this year.  Orbital Reflector is part of City National and RBC Wealth Management’s ongoing commitment to support the Nevada Museum of Art.  RBC Wealth Management has been a partner of Nevada Museum of Art since 2006.

In summer 2018, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC will organize a major, mid-career retrospective exhibition of Trevor Paglen’s work. The launch of Orbital Reflector will occur during the run of the Smithsonian exhibition.

About Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art is the only art museum in Nevada accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). A private, non-profit organization founded in 1931, the Reno-based institution is supported by its membership as well as sponsorships, gifts and grants. Through its 

permanent collections, original exhibitions and programming, and E.L. Cord Museum School, the Nevada Museum of Art provides meaningful opportunity for people to engage with a range of art and educational experiences. Its Center for Art + Environment is an internationally-recognized research center dedicated to supporting the practice, study, and awareness of creative interactions between people and their environments. The Center houses unique archive materials from more than 1,000 artists working on all seven continents, including Cape Farewell, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, Lita Albuquerque, Burning Man, Center for Land Interpretation, Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains, and Trevor Paglen’s Orbital Reflector. Learn more at

About RBC Wealth Management

In the United States, RBC Wealth Management operates as a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Founded in 1909, RBC Capital Markets, LLC. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and other major securities exchanges.  RBC Wealth Management has $348 billion in total client assets with approximately 1,800 financial advisors operating in 200 locations in 40 states.

About City National

With $48.7 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 72 offices, including 19 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $64.9 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 34 other countries.

For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at