Portal of Evolution

The Black Rock Arts Foundation proudly announces the installation of artist Bryan Tedrick’s sculpture, Portal of Evolution at a newly established public art location at Reno’s City Plaza next to Reno City Hall.

Portal of Evolution by Bryan Tedrick
Reno’s City Plaza
10 North Virginia Plaza
Reno, NV  89501
July 9, 2012 – Approximately December 2013, TBD
Steel. Stainless steel.
26’H x 32’W x 12’D

Portal of Evolution will be on display throughout Artown, the City’s annual month-long celebration of the arts. For the entire month of July, Artown offers nearly 500 events ranging from live music, dance, theater and performances to visual arts, workshops, multicultural events and tours. The festival features distinguished local, international and national artists, reflecting vast cultural diversity and artistic innovation.

Portal of Evolution in Reno, Nevada. Photo by Mark Hammon.

About the Project

The base of Portal of Evolution is a cocoon-like enclosure, large enough for several people to stand in. Organic, floral shapes sprout from the base, crowned by a massive, delicate butterfly, which revolves slowly in the wind. The artist frequently touches on themes of the forces and wonder of nature, this time illustrating a moment of transformation and actualization. The sculpture invites visitors to participate in a very personal way, by stepping into the base and becoming part of the sculpture. Safe inside the enclosure, one may reflect on their own potential, peripherally sensing the grandeur of the butterfly directly above them. The sculpture was first displayed at Burning Man in 2009.

“The context of Black Rock City (BRC) inspired me to create sculpture unencumbered by compromise. Being able to share this work in the broader context of a major urban center is a surprise. Frankly, I didn’t think the outside world would embrace such magically bizarre work and this gives me hope that our culture is ready to open to new ways of seeing life and celebrating creativity.”

Bryan Tedrick, Artist

About the Site

Portal of Evolution is located across the street from Reno City Hall, on the northeast corner of Reno’s City Plaza. This busy city plaza is the frequent site of many Burning Man community events and gatherings throughout the year. Working closely with the City of Reno, BRAF has established this new site as a permanent setting for rotating exhibits of large-scale sculpture.

“We’re thrilled about this seventh art installation to come to Reno through the collaboration of the Civic Art Program of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the affiliate non-profit art organization of Burning Man, and The City of Reno. This new permanent installation site will continue to deliver on the mission to celebrate our community’s cultural life and encourage artistic excellence,”

Maria Partridge, BRAF Reno project liaison and Advisory Board member.


“We believe the exhibition of Portal of Evolution at this central location in downtown Reno will serve the community by enhancing civic space through this transformation of flat concrete into an interactive community art project.”

Crimson Rose, Board Member for the Black Rock Arts Foundation and Art Director for Burning Man.

Portal of Evolution in Reno, NV. Photo by Mark Hammon.

About the Artist

Born in Oakland, California in 1955, and raised in Point Richmond, California, Bryan Tedrick has always shown an aptitude and interest in building large-scale structures. In his youth, Tedrick first learned design and constructions skills as a carpenter, working directly for architects and contractors. He briefly worked at the Kaiser Shipyard, where he learned to weld and safely work with hefty materials.

In 1976, Tedrick moved to Mendicino, California, where he bought a property near the Gualala River. “I did the Siddhartha thing. I sort of had my material scene together so then I said, ‘What do I want to do next in life?’ So I went back to school. Art was my one attempt as serious conformity and I’ve stuck with it ever since.” He received a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985.

Tedrick now resides and works in his studio in Glen Ellen, California. He and his wife, Terry Roberts, have two children, Nathalie and Jakob.

Portal of Evolution in Reno, NV. Photo by Mark Hammon


Spear headed by BRAF Board Member and Reno City Councilman Dave Aiazzi, the new installation site was made possible by the dedicated efforts of City of Reno employees. In addition, a team of local volunteers, led by Maria Partridge, BRAF Advisory Board Member and Artist Liason for Burning Man, contributed to the cause.

“I saw your sculpture last night and it had a profound effect on me. My mom recently died from her battle with cancer. She told my sisters and I that she would visit us with butterflies and although I have seen many lately, without a doubt your sculpture was the biggest and most uncanny sign yet. Thank you for creating something beautiful that reminds me we are all connected.”
Sparrow, Reno Resident and BRAF supporter