There was a whole lot more proof on Friday night, even if none was needed, that Burners clean up real nice.
The setting was the Bently Reserve in the Financial District of downtown San Francisco, and the occasion was the Black Rock Art Foundation’s Artumnal fund-raiser.
Everything about the event said class. From the truly fabulous sit-down dinner to the steady stream of entertainers and DJs to the generosity of the art-buying patrons, the whole event was just plain first-rate. And a lot of fun. And there were plenty of old friends on hand, too.
There was Shrine, with an engaging new work in the center of the hall. Like the Temple he built on the playa in 2008, it was made entirely of recycled materials, and it was beautiful.
And there was Maid Marian and Sting Ray and Michael Michael and other Black Rock luminaries. And there was Playground and Makeout Queen behind the bars. And there was Megs and Minx and Lily, and Affinity and Monkeyboy and Joe the Builder, and dozens of others who always look more familiar covered in dust. It was homecoming week.
The Black Rock Arts Foundation presents our third annual fundraising event,
The ARTumnal Gathering
Friday, November 20, 2009
400 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
The [BRAF] invites you to the grandest annual celebration of our community’s vital spirit and extraordinary artists.
Once again, we gather in the majestic Bently Reserve to revel in support of BRAF’s mission to inspire art, community and civic participation worldwide.
Enter into an enchanted world of abundant art, captivating entertainment, and tempting libations. Participate in interactive art experiences created by community visionaries. Be the art!
Join us for our pre-event dinner for delightful fare, cocktails and auction.
Last year’s event sold out. Don’t miss out this year!
We were traveling along Route 80, and for once, Reno seemed almost pretty, or at least the parts of it you see from the highway. In summer you can’t believe how ugly it is, the big brown hills of sun-blasted dirt. But now you were noticing the scattered trees, leaves glowing bright yellow in the slanting noonday sun.
We had to be up in Reno for a couple of days, and we had the chance to squeeze in a side trip to the playa, and we took it. It seemed wrong never to have experienced the Black Rock Desert when there wasn’t a festival going on, and we were determined to rectify the situation.
Now the car is full of playa dust again, and it couldn’t smell sweeter.
Parts of the journey felt familiar. You felt the tightness in your stomach as you left the interstate at Wadsworth and headed out across the Indian land. There wouldn’t be any art or any music or any fire waiting for you at your destination, and all the amazing people weren’t going to be there, either, but it didn’t matter. You felt the pull. It was just going to be you and the desert and the dust.
Burning Man has always had a quality of aloneness to it. Yes, you are surrounded by 40,000 like-minded souls, and one of the reasons you go is to feel connection and community. But still, there are times when you are alone with yourself, and if you haven’t felt that sense of being a single, solitary person, even in the middle of that huge party, maybe you haven’t gotten all there is to get at Burning Man. People come to escape the loneliness, but it finds them there, too. Moments, in between, it finds you.
Cardboardia one of [BRAF]s 2009 Grantees!
Artists! The Black Rock Arts Foundation is now accepting grant applications for community-based, interactive art projects around the world. Apply now!
BRAFs grant recipients represent a range of ideas and interactions worth celebrating. Some of their grantees set out to create highly interactive, publicly engaging work in the spirit of the art experienced at Burning Man. Others extend existing collective art projects, continuing the momentum and reach of their works. Others still employ a valuable connection with the emerging Burning Man Regional Network, expanding BRAF’s geographic reach, while nurturing individual artists’ capacity to create works in and with their own local communities. Seed and challenge grants given in this cycle help artists obtain further support.