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. (more…)

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

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.

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

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!

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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

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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ArtPadSF: A Private Preview and Benefit for the Black Rock Arts Foundation

Private Preview: A Benefit for the The Black Rock Arts Foundation

May 18, 2011
7:00 pm – Midnight
The Phoenix Hotel
601 Eddy St., San Francisco

Celebrate the extraordinary contemporary artists and galleries that enrich the Bay Area and beyond, and enjoy an exclusive evening of performances, live music, the Premiere Lounge, and much more at this opening night party for ArtPadSF!

Join the producers, galleries, and artists of the first annual ArtPadSF at the legendary Phoenix Hotel for an exclusive evening of emerging contemporary art, commissioned performances, and liberal libations.

Proceeds from ArtPadSF’s Opening Night celebration will benefit The [braf]’s public art and grant programs, focused on inspiring art, community and civic participation worldwide.

ArtPadSF Ticket Packages:

Premiere Lounge and Poolside Soiree
$125 online presale; $150 at the door
7:00 pm – Midnight

Includes an evening of featured and roaming performances, DJs, heavy passed hors d’oeuvres, and hosted bar and exclusive access to the lounge from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Also includes passes to the weekend’s other ArtPad events!

Poolside Soiree Only
$50 online presale; $75 at the door
7:00 pm – Midnight

Includes an evening of featured and roaming performances, DJs, light passed hors d’oeuvres, and one complimentary cocktail beverage.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Don’t miss this hip, homegrown alternative to the mainstream art scene. Get the first look at Chambers Restaurant and Lounge, San Francisco’s newest dining and entertainment destination. Be the first to experience ArtPadSF and to interact with participating artists and galleries from around the nation in this intimate setting.

Bay Area artists set the stage for this exciting new event with site specific and multimedia performances, interactive art, live music and DJs with original scores and mixes created especially for the occasion.

Featuring Performances by:

* Infectious dance beats by DJ Jive (Heart Deco) and Smoove
* Wearable art and performances by Bad Unkl SistaMiranda Caroligne, and Daphne Ruff
* Site specific dance performance by Capacitor
* A rather unconventional operatic performance by soprano Diva Marisa Lenhardt
* A processional performance by Loyd Family Players, mixing street theater, samba, hip-hop, funk, heavy metal, dancehall & reggae.
* Debut work by local composer and musician, EO
* San Francisco’s live electric cello + vocal looping mavericks, LOOP!STATION (loopthis.com)

ArtPadSF is a provocative, new, 21st century boutique art fair that focuses on emerging and contemporary art from the Bay Area and beyond. ArtPad SF invites San Francisco’s world-renowned museums, galleries, arts institutions, and artists to transform the newly renovated Phoenix Hotel into an alternative venue for art.