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Celtic Forest Opening Celebration

June 26, 2009 @ 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Celtic Forest

The Book Of The Raven

The Black Rock Arts Foundation proudly collaborates with Artist, Laura Kimpton, in the exhibition of Celtic Forest in Reno, NV

Come celebrate the opening of our latest Civic Arts project, Laura Kimpton’s Celtic Forest. Join us for Celtic Music by Three 17, followed by World Music by DJ Source with fire spinning by Controlled Burn. Read more about this amazing work of art and about the vibrant community of BRAF supporters in Reno, NV!

This outdoor exhibit ran July 1 through December 1, 2009, and was located on the corner of Sierra Street and Island Avenue, on the bank of the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada.

Celtic Forest

 Celtic Forest as seen at Burning Man 2008, photo by Jaz Fabry

RENO, NV – Previously exhibited at Burning Man in 2008, “Celtic Forest: Book of the Raven” transformed an empty lot in downtown Reno into a dramatic interactive art installation, performance venue and community gathering spot.  Its presentation was unique, not only in its materials of metal and fire, but also in its scale and artistic vision. Celtic Forest was conceptualized by Laura Kimpton and created by artists Jeff Schomberg, Antonio Ruperto, and Bob Hofmann.

Celtic Forest/Book of Raven

photo by Mark Hammon

This temporary installation by the river featured a 16-foot tall, steel and copper book entitled “The Book of the Raven”, three 10-foot tall sculptures, and three 20-foot tall flaming metal trees called “Treelabra’s”. Fire Special Effects lit up the night sky while fire dancers and spinners from Controlled Burn surrounded the Forest, creating an evening spectacle never before presented in downtown Reno.

Celtic Forest is an environment where the elements of nature, earth, wind, water, and fire, literally and figuratively represented, are balanced with the human senses. Each of the Gods/Goddesses are surrounded by moats representing an element – and all moats will represent fire. The sculptures created by Antonio Ruperto are: the Goddess of Air, Belissima; the Goddess of Water, the Mermaid Boann; and the God of Earth, the Centaur. The moats house metal books, each with a title.  Artist Laura Kimpton explains, “We hope to create a Celtic place where you can break free from the voice of words, so that other voices, the voice of sight, the voices of intuition, smell, and nature – can be heard and celebrated. The sculptures are half-human and half-animal, bird or fish, symbolizing that we need to tune into the animal side of our nature…”

Book Of Raven/Celtic Forest

photo by Jaz Fabry

While embracing many “new age” systems of our era, Laura Kimpton became especially interested in the largest social art experiment of our time, Burning Man. In 2007 and 2008, Laura Kimpton, Jeff Schomberg, and Bob Hofmann received Burning Man Honoree Grants to help build “Celtic Forest”.

Various parts of Celtic Forest have since been exhibited in Museums, Art Galleries, and Benefits, including: “Close to the Flame” Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA; “Burning Words” Exhibition, Laura Kimpton & Jeff Schomberg, NY Studio Gallery, New York; “Bringing Back the Fire”, Santa Rosa Junior College Art Gallery, Santa Rosa, CA; “Treelabra” Site Installation, Forest Ethics Benefit, supperclub, San Francisco; and “In Flight” Site Installation, Project One Gallery, San Francisco.

Celtic Forest/Book of Raven

photo by WayneCo

“This is the second Burning Man art installation to come to Reno through the collaboration of the Civic Art Program of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the non-profit art organization of Burning Man, and The City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission’s grant program. “Celtic Forest: Book of the Raven” supports the mission of the Reno Arts program to involve its citizens in the community’s cultural life and encourage artistic excellence,” said Maria Partridge, Reno project liaison for BRAF.

Book of Raven Book of Raven Book of Raven

photos by Jaz Fabry

“We believe the exhibition of Celtic Forest during ARTown will serve the community in many ways,” said Crimson Rose, Member Board of Directors, BRAF and Director of Art Management for Burning Man. “By enhancing civic space through the temporary transformation of an empty lot into a dramatic art presentation is what we are most passionate about at BRAF.”  Continued Rose, “by creating this artistic gathering spot  with weekly performances and workshops that provide free entertainment and interactive possibilities for all to enjoy is the true fulfillment of our mission.”

BRAF extends our sincerest thanks to the The Freight House District, LLC, the City of Reno and the Sierra Arts Foundation for their support of this project.


Press / Media contact: Linda Shields – linda @maguamedia.com


June 26, 2009
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm


The River Walk
Sierra St. at Island Ave, Reno, NV United States