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.