2012 Burning Man Arts Report




ArtPadSF, a new and provocative 21st century boutique art fair, invites San Francisco’s world-renowned museums, galleries, arts institutions, and artists to transform the Phoenix Hotel into an alternative venue for art. The hotel is reinvented as a vibrant and visionary community of celebrated local and international artists.

Dance performance at BRAF's evening at ArtPadSF.To punctuate this innovative weekend-long faire, the Black Rock Arts Foundation and ArtPadSF once again co-produced a spectacular evening of performance art, fashion, dance, music and immersive art experiences on Friday, May 18, 2012. This unique event celebrated the wealth of local talent in the Bay Area, and raises funds to benefit the BRAF’s public art and grant programs. The event is a festive gathering of BRAF’s community of supporters, Burning Man’s art lovers, and the bay area’s leading art galleries and art scene.


The Artumnal Gathering

Our extremely popular and anticipated annual event, the Artumnal Gathering, features interactive art experiences, original works of art, performances, a gallery and an auction of art by over 100 participating artists and performers. This event serves as both a fundraiser for BRAF, and as a showcase and celebration of our community’s artists.

The Main Hall of the Bently Reserve at the Artumnal Gathering 2012. Photo by Tyler Nguyen. This year, the event was held on December 1, 2012, at the magnificent Bently Reserve. Over 150 volunteers joined together to produce our most lively Artumnal Gathering yet. Once again, the pre-event dinner sold out. A total of 1,100 guests joined us in celebration of our artists and projects. The event has become an annual tradition for our community of supporters who look forward to donning their finest attire, seeing dear friends and fellow BRAF supporters and enjoying the many spectacles of this extravagant evening.

Below are just a few of the many fabulous photos of the event. To see more fabulous photos of Artumnal visit:

Grants to Artists Program

Through our Grants to Artists program, we awarded $60,000 to projects in Quinto, Ecuador; Christchurch, New Zealand; Beijing, China; Warwick, RI; San Francisco, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Bakersfield, CA; Kiev, Ukraine; Santa Fe, NM; Guadalajara, Mexico; London, England; and Boulder, CO.

BRAF is widely appreciated for funding projects that prioritize community involvement in the development and execution. BRAF grantee projects serve communities not only by exposing them to groundbreaking, outstanding artwork, but also by soliciting the community’s input and involvement. By inviting community participation at all stages of the artworks’ creation and display, these projects engender stewardship of and personal relationships with works of art.

Some of our grantee projects take several years to complete, but some, like OmegaMart, Firefly Grove, New Bionics and Perspectives, have already completed their projects.

Here’s what some of our grantees say about our grant process:

“My interaction with Black Rock Arts Foundation was entirely dreamy. Honestly, I wish all fundings could be this supportive, easy, and relaxed. I felt a sense of community and comradery from the moment of being granted the funds, all the way though the run of the project, and continually beyond. Invitations for other projects, other open calls for work, and a sense
of ‘representation’ makes the relationship with BRAF something more than just a check.”


“The foundation’s grant process is a real pleasure. The contracts are clear and the process without problems. I am very happy that BRAF stays in touch with their artists and presents the artists’ milestones and the final work to the BRAF audience regularly. I am also pleased that BRAF has offered to help with positioning this and other works at additional sites. This was one request that I was planning to make recently but before I was able to do that, I was contacted by BRAF with the offer. I look forward to continue this rewarding relationship with BRAF.”


“I am so grateful for all the support from the Black Rock Arts Foundation. It is the only grant I have received for this project so far, and it has greatly helped in my ability to expand it.”


“This was my second time working with BRAF and am thrilled that there is a Foundation willing to support interactive, community engaged Public Art.  The process has been easy to navigate and the staff always extremely helpful.  We are grateful for the Foundation’s support which has been instrumental in advancing our project and bringing it to a larger audience. ”


“The Black Rock Arts Foundation’s grant process has been a tremendous education to us.  As first-time grant writers and recipients, we have no prior experience by which to compare it, but the openness, support and mission of the foundation has facilitated our growth as artists in unexpected ways.  Having the foundation’s support meant we could try something we would not have otherwise.”


“The Black Rock Arts Foundation is a wonderful example of the progressive spirit prevalent in places like the Bay Area.  Having just returned from the Bay yesterday, I find myself thinking about how important organizations like BRAF are on a national level.”