Creating Café Art

This artist paid tribute to her deceased father by employing his paint brushes.

This artist paid tribute to her deceased father by employing his paint brushes.

Hello Artists!

Please read carefully!

Thank you for your interest in displaying your artwork in the Center Camp Café! We are proud to play host to some of Black Rock City’s most talented artists!

We are accepting project proposals from April 11th through July 7th, 2017. We recommend you submit your project as early as possible within that timeframe as installation space is on a first-come, first-served basis, and it fills up every year. Submission acceptance for certain types of proposals may be cut off prior to our end date or extended past it depending on the submissions we receive and how much space we still have available. Our questionnaire will, at all times, reflect the status of what proposals we are accepting. We ask for your patience as we consider all the proposals coming in.

To start the process for your proposal:

  1. Please read ALL the guidelines here first! Submissions not adhering to the guidelines will not be accepted.
  2. Send photo(s) of your proposed work with the type (Mural, Kiosk, 3D) and your legal name in the subject to cafe-art@burningman.org (sketches or digital renderings are fine, too)
  3. Complete the questionnaire.

Center Camp Café Art Guidelines

General Information

  • Not all proposals to display artwork in the Café can be accepted. Artists whose work is accepted to the 2017 Center Camp Café gallery will be notified via email by late July. All necessary information for arrival, checking in, and installation will be sent at that time.
  • Your project does not absolutely need to be in line with this year’s theme but priority consideration and placement will be given to those pieces that incorporate some element of the theme, “Radical Ritual.”
  • Due to size, space, and power restrictions inside of the Café, we may turn down a project if it is too large or requires more power than we can provide. See below for more specific information on size and power.
  • The Café takes a lot of pride in being green on the MOOP Map and creating a leave-no-trace community space. We ask that all artists take the time to consider how their art may create MOOP and address it prior to submitting a proposal.
  • The entire Café is a busy construction/work zone the week leading up to the start of the event. Therefore we require that your project be designed, constructed, and prepared for installation prior to your arrival at the Café. Please finalize your project at home or in your camp before transporting it over to the Café.
  • Any proposal which includes an interactive element where art supplies are left for participants to use will need to include an action plan for keeping those same supplies from being used on the nearby artwork of artists. We’ve witnessed first hand how quickly that can escalate. We cannot promise that there won’t be participant additions to anyone’s art, but we can create as safe an environment for artists to proudly exhibit their art – collectively, together.
  • No artwork may be attached or hung from any of the Café structures including beams, posts, cables, lighting or wiring using any sort of invasive or restrictive fasteners.
  • No one may install art in the Café without first checking in with the Café Art Team.

Kiosk – 2D Café Art Gallery

Kiosk Gallery spaces measure 48” x 48”, made of ½” plywood, and painted white. They are intended for 2D hung works. We reserve the spaces on a first-come, first-served basis, intentionally leaving a small percentage unreserved to host walk-in artists. Our Kiosk Art Gallery is a community curated space.

  • Hardware: Please bring artwork that is ready to install in one of the following 3 formats:
    • (1) Staple gun & staples
    • (2) ½” to ¾” drywall screws & cordless drill w/ phillips head bit
    • (3) Mirror clips (off-set clips/brackets ¼” or ½” depth) with ½” to ¾” length screws for installing into the kiosk & cordless drill w/ phillips head bit

Please note, you will be securing your artwork to a 48” x 48” – ½” piece of plywood.

  • Securing your piece: While we do not expect art to be stolen from Center Camp Café, we cannot guarantee the safety of your artwork. It cannot be supervised, and we would like to avoid it being removed from the wall and lost in the dead of night. If you are concerned about the safety of your piece, please consider adding securing hardware as a deterrent from theft. Most impulse thieves will not have tools to remove hardware, so at the minimum, a deterrent is advised. Additional securing hardware will also help keep your art in place in the event of strong winds.
  • Lighting: We supply one directional flood light aimed at each face (15-20W fluorescent). Generally, the main body of the kiosk structures are all lit in the same way for 2D flat art. Kiosks are only lit at night. With permission, artists are welcome to bring their own bulb if they want some special effect. Please note special lighting needs in the questionnaire.
  • De-Installation: You are responsible for removing all art, hardware and signage from your kiosk. Please consider the tools you will need to properly de-install your piece and remove all fasteners.

    Kiosk Artist Check-in Hours:

    • Saturday, August 26th: 10am – 6pm
    • Sunday, August 27th: 10am – 6pm
    • Monday, August 28th: 10am – 6pm
    • Tuesday, August 29th: 10am – 3pm

    Any artists with a reserved space that has not checked in by TUESDAY at 1pm will be considered no-shows, and the space will be given away. You can install as late as 3pm but we request that you check in with us by 1pm on Tuesday to let us know. We always have a waiting list of artists ready to jump on whatever spots are available at that time. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS if you have not contacted or made prior arrangements with the Café Art team. If you think you may not arrive at Center Camp Café before Tuesday afternoon, you must let us know for us to continue to reserve your space.

    Kiosk Artist De-Installation Hours:

    • Sunday, September 3rd: 11am – 6pm
    • Monday, September 4th: 10am – 3pm

All Artists must have begun their de-installation by 3pm on Monday, September 4th. The Café begins our break down promptly. Any art left at that time is MOOP. Please don’t abandon your art. Any excessively MOOPy Kiosk spaces could prevent you from being considered for a future art installation in the Café. If you need to de-install your piece early, please let us know!

 Sculptural/Interactive or Free-Standing – 3D Café Art Installation

Free-standing pieces are accepted into the Cafe based on a first-come, first-served basis for those proposals which fit within specifications necessary to install within the Café structure. As the Café is a community space, open 24/7 for every participant, we have a small preference towards proposals with an interactive element.

  • Maximum Size: Free-standing artwork must not exceed 10’ in height with a footprint no larger than 6’ x 6’. Please note that most free-standing pieces displayed in the Café are smaller than the maximum dimensions.
  • Placement Restrictions: Any sound installations will be placed away from the two Café stages. Please make note of a sound elements to your piece in the questionnaire. Nothing may be attached or hung from the Café structural elements.
  • Hardware & Tools: Artists must supply their own hardware and tools for installation. Some exceptions may apply if your piece requires heavy equipment (forklift, ladder, etc.). Please mention this need in your description on the questionnaire. We cannot guarantee the availability of larger tools/equipment, but we will do our best to assist you.
  • Power: Pieces requiring power are allocated a single point to plug in. If you require more than one outlet, you must supply your own power strip and extension cord. 2 amps (=250 watts) are allocated to each art piece. If you require more, please let us know via the questionnaire. We cannot guarantee will be able to accommodate needs exceeding 2 amps.
  • Securing: All pieces must be staked down using adequate means (i.e. rebar or cement stakes attached to an eye bolt or bracket or T-stakes to prevent tripping).Artists are responsible for providing all stakes or other tie down materials and tools. Additionally, while we do not expect art to be stolen from Center Camp Café, we cannot guarantee the safety of your artwork. It cannot be supervised. If you are concerned about the safety of your piece, please consider adding securing hardware as a deterrent from theft. Most impulse thieves will not have tools to remove hardware, so at the minimum, a deterrent is advised. Additional securing hardware will also help keep your art in place in the event of strong winds.
  • Participant Safety: Make sure your free-standing structure once installed is not a tripping hazard. If your free-standing artwork is “climbable,” and you do not want it to be climbed upon you must affix clear and visible signage on or near your piece stating, “Please Do Not Climb.” Keep in mind that there is no guarantee people will respect your wishes. Burners like to climb stuff.
  • De-Installation: You are responsible for removing all art and hardware from your installation space. Please consider the tools you will need to properly de-install your piece and remove all securing methods and/or fasteners.

3D Sculptural/Interactive Artist Check-in Hours:

  • Wednesday, August 23rd: 10am – 6pm
  • Thursday, August 24th: 10am – 6pm
  • Friday, August 25th: 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday, August 26th: 10am – 6pm

If your installation will take minimal setup time, we’ll allow installations as late as Saturday. All installations need to be completely installed by end of day Saturday, August 26th as the Cafe opens the following morning.

3D Sculptural/Interactive Artist De-Installation Hours:

  • Sunday, September 3rd: 11am – 6pm
  • Monday, September 4th: 10am – 3pm

The Café begins our break down promptly on Monday, September 4th at 3pm. Any art left at that time is MOOP. Please don’t abandon your art. Please make prior arrangements with us or notify us as soon as you know if you need to remove your art earlier.

Mural – Café Fence Wall Art Gallery

Paint along our wall panels surrounding the Center Camp Café on the 6 o’clock side! Each panel measures 8’ x 8’ and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Generally we have lots of paint to share for use on murals, but we encourage you to bring your own if you need specific colors. If you bring your own paints, they MUST BE WATER BASED. We also recommend you bring whatever brushes/tools you  need.

Please note that as of this year all mural paintings must be flush with the panel. If you have a proposal that would involve installing anything against the wood panels, please include that in your response to the questionnaire. We may be able to accommodate your proposal in a different area of the Cafe.

Mural Artist Check-in Hours:

  • Wednesday, August 23rd: 10am – 6pm
  • Thursday, August 24th: 10am – 6pm
  • Friday, August 25th: 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday, August 26th: 10am – 6pm

 If you are ready to take the next step, head over to to the questionnaire