Thursday, June 29, 2017

Burning Man history revealed in major art museum archive show (Reno,Nevada)

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‘City of Dust: the Evolution of Burning Man’ Reveals Story of How an Experimental Desert City Came to be and How it Continues to Evolve Today
This archive-based exhibition, organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, is on view in Reno July 1, 2017 through January 7, 2018. It will travel to the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, in spring 2018.
The remarkable story of how a legendary Nevada gathering evolved through collaborative ritual from humble countercultural roots on San Francisco’s Baker Beach into the world-famous desert convergence it is today comes together in City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man. Never-before-seen photographs, artifacts, journals, sketches, and notebooks reveal how this temporary experimental desert city came to be, and how it continues to evolve. Organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, many items included are drawn from the archive collections of the Museum’s Center for Art + Environment. City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man opens July 1 and remains on view through January 7, 2018 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located in downtown Reno, Nevada. In the spring of 2018, the show will travel to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.
Borrowing methods from anthropology and archaeology, City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man relies on primary source materials, such as archives, artifacts, journals, sketches and notebooks. These historical items trace the civic growth and development of Burning Man's temporary city that arises annually in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The exhibition also acknowledges Burning Man's global impact and touches on what the future may hold for the recently-established Burning Man Project.
City of Dust spans three consecutive galleries at the Nevada Museum of Art, each focusing on a specific era in the convergence’s growth and change. Themes include Countercultural Roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, Spontaneous Order in the Desert, Art on the Playa and Beyond, Burning Man’s Global Reach, and Burning Man into the Future. While some of the materials on view are on loan from private collections, most are drawn from the Archive Collections of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. Home to the largest publicly-held collection of Burning Man archives anywhere, researchers travel from around the world to study these materials while seeking to better understand Burning Man's legacy.
Ann M. Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art:
“This exhibition only begins to unravel the story of Burning Man. Through City of Dust, the Nevada Museum of Art hopes not only to shine a light on this vibrant, participatory community, but also to illustrate how its radically experimental nature connects to the desert, and to the region of the Greater West.”
Michael Mikel, Burning Man co-founder:
"This partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art is an exciting step toward the storytelling about the growth of Burning Man. We’re excited to share pieces from our history and stories from our year-round culture with the Reno community.”
Editor's Notes
Throughout the exhibition’s run, a number of educational and public programs will take place at the Nevada Museum of Art, ranging from a July 6 First Thursday Burning Man Celebration to talks with Burning Man’s founders, a talk with artist Leo Villareal, hands-on family programs, an October 19 member’s premiere featuring entertainment by Steven Ra$pa, and more.
City of Dust appears as part of the Museum’s Art + Environment exhibition season and correlates with the 2017 Art + Environment Conference, a triennial Museum production that takes place October 19 – 21, 2017.
To see the complete programming line-up for City of Dust, please visit
City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man will be exhibited July 1, 2017 through January 7, 2018, at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno, Nevada.
The exhibition will travel to the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, in spring 2018.

About Nevada Museum of Art
Nevada Museum of Art is the only AAM accredited art museum in Nevada. 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, and Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains. Learn more at
City of Dust was realized thanks to generous gifts from the following: Lead Gift: Bently Foundation; Major Gift: Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority; Supporting Gifts: Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller; The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank; Eleanor and Robert Preger; Volunteers in Art of the Nevada Museum of Art; Additional Gifts: City of Reno; Jan and David Hardie; Media Gifts: KUNR Reno Public Radio and Reno News & Review.
@nevadaart @burningman #CityofDustArchive #BurningMan.

IMAGE: A-Frame Raising, Photograph by Stewart Harvey of the first Burning Man held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, 1990
Nevada Museum of Art
Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts
E. L. Wiegand Gallery
160 West Liberty Street, Reno, Nevada, 89501

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