Art Support Services went through a fairly radical change in 2012. Roger Ripps, aka Panther, who originally started the team and was its long-time manager, departed this year. His talent, kindness and insight were invaluable in helping form and guide the team for so many years, and we are eternally thankful for his contributions to the art of Burning Man. We were lucky to hire Gary Gregory, aka Just Fine, to take over the helm. Gary came to the Art Department after having worked on such art projects as the Temple of Flux, and having worked with DPW’s Heavy Equipment and Transportation team (HEaT). Gary recruited several new members to the team, so while they were grasping what exactly Art Support Services does, they also tackled the largest art year we have had to date.
Gary came on during an event year during which we had some of the most challenging structures ever to be built on playa. The Art Support Services team spent hours every day working with art teams like the Temple of Juno and Burn Wall Street, and did an exemplary job streamlining communications with both the artists and the HEaT.
While the nature of Art Support Services is often one of field-engineering solutions and juggling priorities, the team did a great job in making more art happen with constrained resources. Panther set a fantastic example of how the team can run, and Gary has done a fabulous job in picking up the torch.