2013 Burning Man Arts Report

The Artumnal Gathering

The Artumnal Gathering is BRAF’s annual gala and celebration event, and is a major source of funding for BRAF projects. The financial success of this fundraising event determines the reach of our programs in the year to follow. This year’s Artumnal Gathering was our most successful event to date!

Aerialist Jocelynn Rugig performing at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013, San Francisco, CA.
Aerialist Jocelynn Rudig performing at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013, San Francisco, CA. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez.
Installation by Paul Hayes (hanging above,) and Love by Laura Kimpton at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez (marcosanchez.net)
Installation by Paul Hayes (hanging above,) and Love by Laura Kimpton at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez (marcosanchez.net)

This extremely popular event honors and showcases our community’s extraordinary artists, educates about BRAF’s mission and goals, and rallies support for future endeavors. It has become an annual tradition for our community, who look forward to donning their finest attire, seeing friends and fellow BRAF supporters, and enjoying the many spectacles of this extravagant evening.

A member of The Lucent Dossier Experience dancing at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013, San Francisco, CA. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez.
A member of The Lucent Dossier Experience dancing at the Artumnal Gathering, 2013, San Francisco, CA. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez.

The evening included a sumptuous dinner, a high-spirited live auction, a silent auction, wine, dessert, interactive art experiences and original works of art by our community’s artists, featured and roaming live performances, DJ’s, dancing, raffle, photography and fine art sale and one-of-a-kind treats.

The Artumnal Gathering, 2013. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez.
The Artumnal Gathering, 2013. Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez.

This year’s Artumnal Gathering featured original works by Laura KimptonPaul HayesBunnie (Bonnie) Reiss, and BRAF grantee project by Alex Andre Thevenot and performances by Metamorphosis BalletMaterializedThe Lucent Dossier Experience, and many, many more. BRAF is grateful to the 100 performers and 250 volunteers who donated their time and effort, and for all who attended and showed their support for our future projects. Thank you!

 

Future’s Past

In 2012, BRAF worked with local organizations and residents to raise necessary funds for the installation of Kate Raudenbush’s Future’s Past in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. The work continues to be warmly received by the local residents and was granted an exhibition extension of one year by the City of San Francisco. It will remain on view until May, 2014.

In an ongoing collaboration with the Hayes Valley Arts Coalition (HVAC), BRAF and HVAC curate works of art that reflect the vibrancy and character of the Hayes Valley neighborhood and advocate for the improvement of the installation site, making it ready to host more works of art in the future.

In this project, we worked with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation to install a permanent electrical connection at the site. As with many sculptures we work with, Future’s Past’s lighting effects are integral to the work’s overall impact and aesthetic. This site improvement was critical to our ability to showcase this sculpture and hopefully others of equal caliber in the future.

First exhibited at Burning Man in 2010, Future’s Past is an intricate metal sculpture standing 24 feet tall, and tells a story of civilization being reclaimed by nature. The 12-foot base of the piece harkens an ancient pyramid. Springing from its top is an ornate 12-foot Bodhi tree, a symbol of freedom from earthly attachments.

Futures Past in Hayes George Post 2

IlluminArts Walk

Another exceptionally successful pilot event, BRAF’s IlluminArts Walk, in early December, 2013, invited community members to don illuminated costumery and wearable art for an evening stroll, touring some of BRAF’s favorite illuminated works of art in San Francisco. Produced in partnership with Illuminate the Arts, this evening of participatory pageantry was literally a strolling light installation at the human scale, as participants became art by illuminating their funnest evening finery and proceeded from North Beach to the Embarcadero.

The walk bridged three works of illuminated art, two neighborhoods, and brought new energy to San Francisco’s sidewalks. The entire route explored gorgeous vistas of The Bay Lights, by BRAF Advisory Board member and acclaimed light artist, Leo Villarreal.

The Bay Lights, by BRAF Advisory Board Member Leo Villareal. Photo courtesy of John Curley.
The Bay Lights, by BRAF Advisory Board Member Leo Villareal. Photo courtesy of John Curley.

This event was created in support of San Francisco Travel’s inaugural Illuminate SF, a new seasonal program which offers the entire city of San Francisco as a gallery of light-filled art, illuminating the dark winter evenings of November to January.

The evening began at the North Beach intersection of Columbus and Broadway at 2007 BRAF Grantee project, Language of the Birds, also commissioned by the San Francisco arts Commission’s Public Art Program. There, the walk’s host, BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe, introduced The IlluminArts Walk participants to site-specific light art and creators Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn discussed their art: solar-powered books mimicking birds in flight, created in conjunction with scientist David Shearer and City Lights Books.

The IlluminArts Walk, December 5, 2013. Photo courtesy of George Post.
The IlluminArts Walk, December 5, 2013. Photo courtesy of George Post.

The glowing group the proceeded to walk via Telegraph Hill to the Exploratorium on the Embarcadero. As they descended the Filbert Steps, vistas of The Bay Lights, the world’s largest LED light sculpture appeared. Its 25,000 white LED lights are individually programmed to create a never-repeating, dazzling display across the Bay Bridge’s west span. The IlluminArts Walk participants were treated to stories of the creation of The Bay Lights from Illuminate The Arts dynamic executive producer, Amy Critchett.

The group’s final destination was the Exploratorium to experience Homouroboros, a large-scale interactive zoetrope by San Francisco artist Peter Hudson, in the public plaza at Pier 15. Creator Peter Hudson met the group to discuss his ground breaking and inventive interactive art piece.

After the walk, our IlluminArts Walk participants had the option to attend The Exploratorium’s monthly adults-only event, After Dark: Glow. This month’s After Dark event highlighted a number of activities related to exploring bioluminescence, florescence and phosphorescent artwork and activities. Light-focused artworks on display included the installations by Ruby Bettencourt & Jeff Howe’s, Whirld (viewable from outside the museum), and Mark Lottor’s Cubatron Core.

Ruby Bettencourt's Whirld. Photo courtesy of George Post.
Whirld by Ruby Bettencourt and Jeff Howe. Photo courtesy of George Post.

 

Bliss Dance

The Treasure Island Development Authority has granted an indefinite extension of the exhibition of Bliss Dance, by Marco Cochrane. BRAF is thrilled that the community shares our appreciation and affection for this piece.

The sculpture, of a dancing woman, stands 40 feet tall, weighs 7000 pounds and is ingeniously constructed of triangulated geodesic struts. By day, the dancer’s ‘skin’, made of stainless steal mesh, shimmers in the sun. By night, it alights brilliantly with a complex array of 1000 slowly changing LED colored lights. Viewers may interact with and manipulate the lighting effects with a smartphone application. The dancer’s delicate, graceful form precariously balances on one foot, adding to the astonishing impression of imminent movement and lifelike presence.

Bliss Dance by David Yu
2011 Civic Arts project Bliss Dance, by Marco Cochrane. Photo by David Yu.

We hope that you’ll work with us again to evolve and advance the potential of public art. Help us expand our horizons even further by making a tax-deductible year-end contribution today.