Friday, March 14, 2008

Final Week !! & Film Screenings

Where does the time go?
We'll soon be into the final week of "Bringing Back the Fire" on display at the SRJC Gallery...
so we're planning on some closing events...
First off, Film Screening:
Voyage in Utopia.
(click above to watch previews of this great movie!)
Depending on when you've visited the gallery, you may have seen the trio of short films by Bill Breithaupt (Aqua Burn, Burning Karma, and AstroBlaze), or the short film by Jane Sullivan on the 'Temple of Forgiveness'. In our final days, we're now showing the feature length film "Voyage in Utopia" at 10am, noon & 2pm weekdays, noon & 2pm on Saturday. It's approximately 2 hours long, and Remember! that seating in our little theater is quite limited, so arrive early for a good seat!

THE LASTEST: Yes, we'll be open at on Saturday, March 22, in spite of Spring Break.
Tony & I will be there to hang out with any of y'all that come by that afternoon, 2-4-ish.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


That was a helluva party.
Thank you sooo much for coming out to the show; and to those of you who helped get out the word, and those who helped make it a PARTY (with music, dancing, food, decorations, & your costumes). It truly exceeded any expectations we may have had.
Thanks to you all.
Stay tuned for more photos, and upcoming announcements of film screenings and other happenings while the show continues.

Until I get it all together, check out great party photos from Cliff here. (thanks Cliff!)

And I love this, sent to me in an e-mail from sk8mama:
'We brought friends and children and they LOVED the evening.
My friend's 4 year old said at one point during the Fire Dancing,

"This is the best night of my life." '

(5 photos above, via Cliff; bottom ones mine; click on images to enlarge them somewhat!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

final days...

It's all falling together-- in our final days before the show's opening. Most of the work is hung, and even lit! Now-- wall signage, labels, video & slide show editing... the home stretch. Where's my umbrella drink??
We're really hoping for that break in the rain on Friday; Zack Darling (who we don't believe we've technically met yet-- but I will at noon tomorrow) is helping us to organize what looks like it will be a fun party on Friday night, complete with firedancers, DJs, and hopefully YOU, in your playa apparel, or jeans, or whatever!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

photography walls

The photo area was the last part of the show to be hung; here it is going up a few days ago. Michael & Laurie hang Gabe Kirchheimer's large prints, celebrating the Temples from over the years. (Gabe lives in NY, so unfortunately he won't be here for the party tonight. Hi Gabe!) Below, hanging photographs from Scott Hess, Don Jackson, and Scott London. We also have some great photography cycling in a digital slide show in our lobby area, just outside the gallery.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jenny Bird's Paintings Arrive!

Seen here with Geoffrey's photos, & Bellissima of the Celtic Forest. Tony talks to Jenny & John; "Queen of the Riddle Realms" is at right.

Monday, February 11, 2008

busy days at the gallery

Friday was a busy day over at the Gallery ; the Gallery Class was in session, and many students helped to build walls, paint flames, and move art around. Tony Speirs & Michael Coy (shown above) began the assembly and installation of 'The Game of Hope or Fear'. 'Buddhubya' did in fact arrive on Saturday, and earlier last week saw the arrival of Geoffrey Nelson's costumed mannequins and photographs.

At left, Geoff & Michael try to remember: does the thong go OVER the fishnets, or UNDER?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Each August, for one brief week, the Burning Man Festival turns a portion of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada into the "world’s largest outdoor art gallery". Some the art that is created there is meant to be burned—and some is not, returning to be seen again. This show celebrates some of each, and the community of participants who have created them.

(signage design created for the SRJC exhibit by the fabulous McLarsen Design Duo, featuring Gabe Kirchheimer's photo of The Temple of Forgiveness)

"Buddhubya"-- arrived last weekend!

Painted by Cotati-based artist Pat Ryan, shown here atop Rhody Ringrose's 'Plymouth of Perpetual Enlightenment'.

Buddhubya first appeared on the playa in 2006.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Celtic Forest's Bellisima arrives

Bellisima (and other parts of the Celtic Forest) have arrived at the SRJC Gallery! Apparently the installation by Laura Kimpton and the rest of the team went very smoothly. One of the forest's trees has been set up outside, where it will be aflame on the evening of February 22nd (during our evening reception.)
More on the Celtic Forest: here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the assembly of 'The Portal' at the Gallery

On January 21st, with a small team of volunteers, and Mario of Dunsmuir, we assembled artist Finley Fryer's Portal piece in the SRJC Gallery. It's very exciting to have it here!

(This piece appears in our show with thanks to partial funding from the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

the blog of...

...the upcoming show (Bringing Back the Fire: Art and Community at Burning Man and Beyond) we're curating for Santa Rosa Junior College Art Gallery.
(above: Celtic Forest, by Laura Kimpton & Co--- The central goddess sculpture, with her 'moat' will be in the gallery (photo c Steve Fritz)

Our hope is that this site will make it easier for people to find information about the show,
to participate, and to help make it happen.
Please check back from time to time (below this post) for updates.

Each August, for one brief week, the Burning Man Festival turns a portion of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada into the "world’s largest outdoor art gallery". Some the art that is created there is meant to be burned—and some is not, returning to be seen again. This show celebrates some of each, and the community of participants who have created them.

Below are both images of some of the pieces we know will be in the show, and ones we're hoping to be able to bring.

Finley Fryer's Portal-- (installation of this piece begins this week!) photo, Laurence Cook

Here are four of Jennybird Alcantara's eight paintings, which formed the entrances to the 'Funhouse' beneath the Man, during the year themed 'Psyche'. We're excited that we'll have some of them for the show. (photo Gabe Kirchheimer)

(photo: Gabe Kirchheimer, one of the photographers who will be in the show. pictured: Temple of Forgiveness, David Best & Co., during a performance of Reverend Billy)

The show will include photos of Burners by Geoffrey Nelson, and some of his costumes

One of three panels which comprise the "Game of Hope & Fear", Tony Speirs with Art Farm Motel-- hundreds of contributors.

We're still in need of support to help some artists with costs for truck rentals and expenses of installing their work. Please consider using our paypal button below to make a donation in any amount.

and--we'll see you in February!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Gallery Space

Below are photos of the SRJC Gallery space, where the show will take place, on the ground level of the fabulous new library building.

(These photos were taken during the previous show, 'From Tent to Palace' which was outstanding-- a hard act to follow).

Outside, a sculpture platform, which will hold a (flaming) tree from the Celtic Forest--(flaming during the opening, at least).

Some verbiage on the topic...

There's tons of information on Burning Man's Official site,
You might start with What is Burning Man? (if you're new to all this).
You can read an excellent article written by Burning Man's Art Curator, Christine Kristen aka LadyBee, called 'Reconnecting Art & Life at Burning Man' (originally published in Raw Vision, a journal of 'outsider art').

We have our own very favorite wordsmith, Suzanna, aka 'Bell' on the case for us, creating words for press releases and later, signage, for the show...

Here are some of her early thoughts...

Each year at the end of summer, an immigration unfolds, pointed into the blank white deserts north of Reno, Nevada. This curious caravan is made up of tens of thousands of friends and strangers towing unlikely conglomerations – often called art – out of their garages, studios and back yards, across oceans, highways, and mountain passes to share at Burning Man. The citizens of this temporary city hope for transformation, a wild carnival, or a zen moment of pure expression. What they find when they reach the welcoming gates of this temporary Nevada city known as Black Rock, is the world’s largest art gallery – and the planet’s biggest art installations.

Hundreds of gigantic installations have been featured in the place called Black Rock City in over twenty years of week-long festivals. Everyone who passes these gates is expected to participate. Gifting is a way of life, self reliance and inclusivity are two of the ten principles which keep the city vibrant. The larger works of art at Burning Man are collaboratively produced, bringing many thousands of people out of their workaday realm and into the role of artist.

Producing a gallery show of Burning Man art is a special challenge. The fact is, “burners,” as the participants are known, can only hope to view a small percentage of the vast offerings during the week of the event. The event itself cannot be represented, it can only be experienced. Most installations on the playa are designed to be touched, ridden, climbed, or otherwise engaged. Take a moment to imagine yourself on an unknown planet where at least some of society’s restrictions do not apply, and consider these pieces as part of a playground.

While many pieces of art, large and small, are sacrificed to fire, far more are preserved for new venues around the world. This show brings some of these artistic visions from Burning Man into our community. The pieces you will view in this show withstood the tremendous extremes the playa offers, from 70 mile-an-hour winds to 100+ degree temperatures, along with grinding storms of dust and tiny rocks which can last for days. Remember, the people who offered their works to the citizens of Black Rock City also endured these conditions.

You can check out some more of Suzanna's writing, on her blog,

about the Temples

For eight years now, large Temple installations on the Playa have been hugely meaningful, important parts of the Burning Man experience for its thousands of attendees. While they are beautiful in a purely design sense, they have also created spaces where people are given the opportunity to acknowledge death, places that help people to let go, places of healing and forgiveness and transformation. Designed by David Best in the years 2000-2004, Mark Grieve in 2005 & 2006, and again by David, with Tim Dawson, in 2007. They truly epitomize the connection of art to community--- created with the help of teams of volunteers working together; contributed to and invested with personal meanings by participants on the playa-- who bring their words, photos, and tears to the space; and communally celebrated, in the burning ceremony that takes place on the final Sunday night of the event.
Our show pays tribute to these temples through a collection of photographs from over the years, and a short film by
Jane Sullivan following the Temple of Forgiveness ('07) from building to burning.

Top 2 photos: Scott Hess, other photos Lisa B, '05 & '06

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our First Sponsor!

A thousand thanks go out to our first sponsor-level donor, Creative Maven.