Reno’s First Sculpture Festival

Reno’s First Sculpture Festival

May 8th to 10th, 2015 ~ This year a collective of Reno Artists lead by Aric Shapiro created and hosted Reno’s first Sculpture Festival. A 3-day event in downtown Reno filled with big art… interactive spaces, and live music. It is so exciting to see the how Reno has embraced and supported the arts. In 2007 Burning Man partnered with the city of Reno to bring Burning Man are to the city. It started with the Mangrove Project which consisted of 11 trees made out of recycled materials and stayed up for 3 months. The following year they did it again with the Celtic Forest, only it was bigger and more interactive and had fire and metal art. And each year the city brings more big art to the spaces and place for the general public to enjoy and engage. For more details check out Reno Sculpture...

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Building Community Through Burning Man Art

Building Community Through Burning Man Art

Since 2007 Burning Man has partnered with the city of Reno to place art from the event throughout the city. There are currently 12 public art pieces in the city of Reno. These projects have brought the community together to create a new face to the Biggest Little City. Maria Partridge speaks about the connection between art and community. “One community at a time, we CAN change the world”. Check out Maria Partridge’s TEDx – Reno 2014 presentation....

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Bringing sound art to Burning Man

Bringing sound art to Burning Man

In the fall of 2014, Claire Kenway of ClaireLabs contacted me to discuss the possibility of bringing her sound art piece, Windcatcher, to Burning Man. The piece consists of a wind turbine, an aeolian harp and a large set of wind chimes to create music played by the wind. I was excited to find out that Windcather was already built and being stored on Vancouver Island. After some discussion we agreed that despite it already having been displayed in Montreal, Canada for a year as well as at the BassCoast Festival in BC, there would still need to be some modifications made to the piece in order to make it ‘playa worthy’. Plans, budgets and proposals are all done and now it’s just a matter of raising the money to bring it to playa.  ...

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Engaging Our Communities to Make More Art

Engaging Our Communities to Make More Art

This week I had the opportunity and pleasure of attending Victoria’s first Burner Town Hall Meeting, hosted by the Kindle Arts Society and the Regional Contacts for the Burning Man Organization. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of importance to the Victoria burner art community. And despite the general “let the shit show begin” comments, I was excited. I believe these are important issues and was happy to see that 30 or so other people thought so too. Upon arrival there was a list of 5 topics posted on the wall, to which we were given sticker dots to vote on the 3 of most importance to us. By democratic vote, the main focus of the meeting was around “Making More Art” and “Community Engagement”. Both of these topics are dear to my heart and I was happy to see that my Victoria family felt the same. I also had an opportunity to pass on my observations and experience from other communities and how they may relate.   Making More Art The arts were not something that was encouraged in me growing up. Instead I focused on real world skills that were meant to help me get a job. Not surprisingly I started my university career as a business major. And I am sure I am not alone in this experience. Thankfully I switched to Communications and Cultural Studies where I learned the importance of community and connections within groups. However, upon completing my degree I took the corporate career path and didn’t have much time to think about art or the importance it plays in our lives. Not everyone is an artist… or maybe more specifically, not everyone feels comfortable identifying as an artist. It has taken some time for me to call myself an artist and even then it is not in the traditional sense ~ my life is my greatest work, at the moment. But community art is not just about music and paintings and stage plays. It’s also about design and architecture and public spaces and creatively solving civic issues. It’s about how we engage with our surroundings and with one another. So as the ideas flowed about how we could make more art, there seemed to be a common thread that had more to do with building relationships and skills and connections than about specific pieces or mediums. And the conversations naturally flowed into the next topic…   Community Engagement Art is a vital piece to any healthy community. However, artists are generally a rather small proportion of the population and like everyone else, they have bills to pay. So how do we find the time, energy, and resources to engage...

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