Creating Playa Art

All participants are welcome to create art for the playa! This section will tell you everything you need to know to create art for Burning Man, register it with us, place it on playa, and remove it at the end of the event – all without leaving a trace.

Understanding the Basics

If you want to bring art to the playa, please read:

  • Our Art Installation Guidelines, which include your responsibilities as the artist, challenges and limitations of building on playa, and details on what qualifies as “playa art”
  • Our visual guide to what we are able to register as art.
  • Our guide to Building Safe Structures
  • Our Criteria for Artist Good Standing outlines expectations for artists to represent the 10 principles through artist and artwork integrity, project implementation, working relationship, and culture and values.  
  • Our detailed Fire Art Guidelines if you’ll be incorporating fire in your project

We encourage you to include an interactive element in your artwork, allowing participants to fully engage with the piece instead of just viewing it. Participants who explore and interact with the art may well find that they may need to perform a task in order to activate your art. Touching, climbing, entering, spinning, engaging and exploring are encouraged.

Apply for a Grant

Every year, Burning Man issues a small number of grants for the purpose of partially funding specific art projects in BRC. Learn about applying to the Black Rock City Honoraria Program if you need financial assistance with your project. Please note that the BRC art grant application period is typically open from mid-October through mid-November. All Burning Man Project art grant opportunities can be found here.

Register Your Art

Fill out and submit our art registration questionnaire (typically open from late February through late May). Remember, the earlier you register, the better service and resources we can provide to you: we have time to answer your questions; you have time to make any course corrections needed for safety, materials, lighting, or Leave No Trace; and you have access to our immense wealth of knowledge! We’re nice. We’re here to help you. We know stuff you might want to know. Please, REGISTER YOUR ART EARLY.

Missed the art installation questionnaire deadline? After the Art Installation Questionnaire closes, you may still be able to bring your art project with you to BRC and register it as a  walk-in at the ARTery. However, there are limitations for walk-in projects:

  • They cannot exceed 10 feet in height
  • They cannot be burned or contain pyrotechnics
  • They must be unloaded / assembled / disassembled by human power
  • We are not able to provide Art Support Services or heavy equipment assistance for late/walk-in projects

This means if you have a large or complex art piece, or an art piece that you’re not 100% sure falls under our art guidelines for safety or allowed materials, REGISTER YOUR ART EARLY.

If you are interested in creating art for the Central Plaza see their guidelines.

City Plaza Art

Most art at Burning Man is placed on the open playa, but there are also 9 unique opportunities to have your art placed in a plaza within the city/camping area. Black Rock City plazas are neighborhood hubs, located at B and G streets at 3:00, 4:30, 7:30, and 9:00, and 6:00 & I. They offer a variety of interactivity across day and night, and have art placed in the centers. If you would like your project to be considered for placement in one of Black Rock City’s city plazas, please visit the City Plaza Art page for more information – then indicate your desire for plaza placement on your art registration questionnaire. Interested in submitting your art for possible inclusion in The Central Plaza Canopy? Fill out this form.

Check out the Artist Resources Page

We are here to support you with the information you need to bring your art to Black Rock City! Check out our Artist Resources page to peruse helpful FAQs, discover art installations from past years, connect with your community for help and resources, and learn about the volunteer teams at the ARTery who will assist you in placing and building your art on playa.