Posts by Affinity

July 4th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings

Spire of Fire Lights up Reno

Fire and music create a gathering for hundreds of participants each Tuesday and Wednesday night in July as part of Artown. Over 1,000 people gathered at the corner of Sierra Street and Island Ave for the opening of the temporary interactive art installation and performance venue. Hundreds of adults and children have enjoyed the unique experience of controlling a pulsing tower of flame effects while DJ’s spin dance music for the performers and public alike. Read more »

June 28th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

The Bike Bridge

A program participant of the Bike Bridge welds her bike in the welding course, hosted by The Crucible.
A program participant of the Bike Bridge paints her bike in the Art-Bike course, hosted by The Crucible

The [BRAF] is thrilled to announce the award of $10,000 granted from the National Endowment for the Arts for our newest project, The Bike Bridge. This new project, which launched in April of 2011, is the next evolution of our community-focused public art projects. This educational and creative program is designed specifically to engage youth living on Oakland, California.

The Bike Bridge is a collaboration with the youth of Oakland, artist Michael Christian (who has been creating art for the Playa for many years), and with partner organization The Crucible. The 12 enrolled participants, all young women, begin the project with classes in welding and art-bicycle creation, generously hosted by The Crucible. The program culminates in the collaborative creation of a large-scale sculpture made entirely of reclaimed bicycle parts, led by Christian.

In the second phase of the project, artist Christian will work with The Crucible’s instructors and the youth participants to design a “skeleton” structure that can later be embellished by the youths. These embellishments will be made of reclaimed bicycle parts, connecting with “green,” urban bike culture and tapping into the exciting, creative buzz around “art” bikes.

The Bike Bridge sculpture is designed to be the centerpiece of the City of Oakland’s new Uptown Merritt Art Park, to be located adjacent to the Fox Theater in the city’s newly revitalized Uptown district. The City of Oakland was also awarded an N.E.A. grant, in the amount of $200,000, a portion of which will fund the development of the new park. Plans pending, The Bike Bridge sculpture will act as a gateway to the park, which will also feature temporary exhibitions of large-scale works of art.

N.E.A.’s grant of $10,000 sets this ambitious project in motion. Fundraising efforts are underway to meet the project’s overall budget of $60,000.

Read more about the project and about the grant from the National Endowment for the Arts press release

See more photos of works in progress on our flickr page

The Bike Bridge project is funded in part by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts. The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at arts.gov.

photos courtesy of the Crucible

June 21st, 2011  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Ghana ThinkTank – Developing the First World

The Ghana ThinkTank is one of [BRAF]‘s 2011 grant recipients, and is developing the First World. Ghana Thinktank is a worldwide network of think tanks creating strategies to resolve local problems in the “developed” world. The network is composed of people from all walks of life and levels of expertise and began with groups in Ghana, Cuba and El Salvador. It has since expanded to include Serbia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Iran, and a group of incarcerated girls in the U.S. prison system.

These think tanks analyze First World problems and propose solutions, which are enacted in the community where the problems originated – whether those solutions seem impractical or brilliant. The success or failure of the solutions is documented and sent back to the think tanks, initiating another round of dialogue and action. For exhibitions, The Ghana Thinktank manifests as elaborate installations that document the entire process and involve audience participants in each step.

The Ghana ThinkTank in Corona involves a custom-built teardrop trailer designed to journey into different locales in the “First” world, collecting community and personal issues, and sending them to think tanks in Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Serbia, Iran, Afghanistan, and others…

Once we receive the solutions, our trailer rolls back into the communities, this time as a mobile workstation, so that we can work with community members to apply the solutions we have received from our global network of think tanks.

The Ghana Think Tank operates in Corona May 21 – Aug 14.

El Ghana ThinkTank en Corona utiliza un remolque hecho a la medida para viajar entre los diferentes niveles del “Primer mundo.” El remolque sirve de punto de recogida para problemas de la comunidad y asuntos personales. Despues de la fase de collección las problemas serán eviadas a nuestra red de gabinetes estrategicos en Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, México, Serbia, Irán, y Afganistán para ser resueltas.

Una vez que recibamos las soluciones, nuestro remolque volverá a las comunidades de Corona, esta vez como una estación de trabajo móvil para aplicar las soluciones que hemos recibido.

El Ghana ThinkTank opera en Corona desde mayo 21 hasta agosto 14.

The Ghana ThinkTank in Corona is supported by the Queens Museum of Art, Creative Time, the Black Rock Arts Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, and The Greenwall Foundation. Additional funding provided by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.

June 8th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Spire of Fire Coming to Reno Nevada

Spire of Fire is the [BRAF]’s fourth installation at our public art venue in Reno, Nevada, and will be on display June 20 – Nov. 15, 2011, on the corner of Sierra Street and Island Avenue, on the bank of the Truckee River in downtown Reno.  Previously exhibited at Burning Man in 2010, Spire of Fire, by artists Steve Atkins and Eric Smith, is unique in its materials, (stainless steel and propane fueled fire) scale (48’ tall x 30’) and artistic vision.

Join us to celebrate this ongoing collaboration with the Reno community!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The River Walk
Sierra St. at Island Ave
Reno, NV
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

- Dj’s spinning from 5:00 – 10:00 pm

- Hula Hoop Jam from 5:00 – 8:00 pm

- Controlled Burn and Friends spin fire 8:30 – 10:00

- Artwork’s fire effects alight! 8:30 – 10:00

- Wine and Beer will be sold as a BRAF fundraiser, courtesy of Wild River Grill

- and be sure to catch all the activities on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during Artown in Reno

. Free fun for the family!

To Read More about the Spire of Fire CLICK HERE

photo: Leo Sauerman

June 7th, 2011  |  Filed under Events/Happenings

The Black Rock Arts Foundation Collaborates with Levi Strauss & Co. Community Day

The [BRAF] helped Levi Strauss & Co. with their May 5th Community Day, during which Levi’s employees in San Francisco leave their regular office responsibilities behind and volunteer at Bay Area non-profits.  BRAF was given a special role this year, supporting the company’s efforts to be better caretakers of the planet and reduce both water consumption and material waste in their manufacturing and ordering processes.

Over a dozen BRAF volunteers sculpted a literal “mountain” out of samples and scraps of Levi’s and Dockers that are produced each year to help demonstrate the scale of waste, the importance of reducing and re-using such items and

BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe photo: Eli Peterson

to encourage recycling usable samples vs. throwing them away. The mountain, which was installed at Levi’s Plaza was impressive, but represented just 10% of the some 71,000 articles of clothing samples generated each year that are otherwise unusable for Levi’s but perfectly good for other uses. BRAF was thrilled to be part of a project that is helping a major manufacturer in America to use creativity and art to inspire its employees to reduce, reuse and recycle. Everyone was so inspired and an absolute pleasure to work with!

Read more »

May 25th, 2011  |  Filed under Environment

The Composting Contraption Gets Out and About

The [BRAF]‘s latest ScrapEden Project, The Composting Contraption, rolls on, delighting kids and adults alike and educating about the importance of composting.  This pedal powered, fun and funky kinetic sculpture is touring events throughout the summer. If you’re at an outdoor event in San Francisco this summer, keep your eyes peeled for the contraption!

The ScrapEden program is supported by the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

photos: Victoria Ramirez

May 24th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Flying Solo – Laura Kimpton

 

Flying Solo Exhibit
Featuring Laura Kimpton
Opening Reception
McLaughlin Gallery 49 Geary (corner Grant). Suite 200
San Francisco
Thursday, June 2, 2011
5:30pm to 8:30pm

View new works of collage, assemblage, and sculpture by Laura Kimpton.

Works on exhibition from June 2nd to July 30th, 2011. This solo exhibition of 2D and 3D recycled mixed media creations draws upon Laura’s spiritual connection to birds and her own need to tear down societal constraints that keep us from discovering and celebrating our inner core.

Register For This Event http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1636854877

AFTER PARTY at the Hotel Monaco 9 pm – 2 am. Come celebrate the completion of this Solo Show.

Marin based Laura Kimpton is known for her daring and thought-provoking work; including “Celtic Forest,” a sculpture and fire site at [BM].

May 19th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

Bliss Dance Has Emerged

Bliss Dance on Treasure Island photo: Sidney Erthal

Bliss Dance on Treasure Island photo: Sidney Erthal

Sometimes people ask me why I still volunteer for [BM] and the [BRAF] after more than 10 years, and I tell them, “Burning Man and the Black Rock Arts Foundation have changed my life”. They have brought breadth and depth to my life in ways I never imagined. I have come to love the gift of art, big art as it turns out. Who makes it, why they make it, where they make it and best of all, how they make it? Thus, one of the gifts in my life is that sometimes I get to meet art in its formation. I love the process. In late 2009 I ran into my friend Lloyd Taylor, (Our Lloyd died a few months ago, we love you Lloyd, Be Cool) and he said he was the production manager on a 40 foot statue with Marco Cochrane and the Bliss Dance Crew, and it was for Burning Man 2010. I was intrigued. And he invited us out for a visit. We met the artist and his crew and we met Bliss Dance.

Lloyd and his groupSo a few weeks later when I got a note from Lloyd that said “With the arms and left leg mostly complete, we start the left upper torso this week. Soon we will be attaching some mesh skin and testing lighting. So come visit us at Bliss Dance on Treasure Island, help if you can or just chill in the great space with killer views.” I was thrilled and had to see Bliss Dance as she changed and grew. So off we went. And guess what, I fell in love. She was amazing, even the prototype for the piece was stunning and she captured my imagination. 

Then a few week later we stopped by again and I could not help but blog that we could see Bliss Dance Emerging. Throughout the spring we would stop by, maybe take some cookies or burritos and see the progress. Spring turned into summer and it was Burning Man season. You know how that works at your house. You start connecting more with your campmates, getting excited to see what the art is going to look like and de-dust everything so you can take it to the Playa and get it dusty again.

I blogged from Burning Man 2010 and could not help but include Bliss Dance.

My huband, MonkeyBoy goes to Burning Man in very early August to help build Black Rock City, so I hang our with my friends and since we are art geeks, we packed our lunch, took food for the Crew and went to watch the Assembling of Bliss Dance .

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