Large-Scale Burning Man Art is Coming to the Smithsonian

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Fri March 23, 2018 | 11:00 AM

Burning Man's large-scale art installations are known the world over as awe-inspiring works that have to be seen to be believed – and until now, you had to venture all the way to Black Rock City to see it.

Today, according to DCist, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery announced the first-ever major exhibition of the incredible large-scale art installations that are built — and then set ablaze — at TTITD. Debuting next Spring, the exhibition will be entitled "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" and will showcase the "maker culture" of the burn with room-sized installations, immersive costumes, jewelry, and other participatory works. Hopefully a little playa dust will make it in there, too.

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Photo by: Andrew Jorgensen

"This exhibition transports the art of Burning Man to a museum setting, so that audiences who cannot visit Black Rock City can encounter the cutting-edge work being created at this transformative annual event," Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, said in a statement.

Some of the works on display will have been at previous burns, and others will have been commissioned specifically for the installation, which will certainly draw longtime playa vets. There will also be archival documents and photos from the Nevada Museum of Art's Burning Man archive that trace the origins and growth of the event through the years.

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Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man Project, the event's nonprofit arm, had this to say of the exhibition: "Through this ambitious exhibition, more people will have a chance to engage with Burning Man's ethos, which has given rise to a thriving year-round culture spurred by a growing global community of participants. We're looking forward to this excellent opportunity to showcase the elements of Burning Man that are helping change the world around us for the better."

The exhibition opens March 30, 2018 and ends September 16, 2018.