BRAF funds year-round community-driven art projects all over the world. BRAF’s grantee projects break the mold of public art, blur the lines between artist and audience, and actively engage their communities in the creative process. We fund highly interactive art projects that are accessible to, integrated with and for the benefit of their community.
Noting BRAF’s contributions, KQED’s “This Week in Northern California” highlights Burning Man artists working in the Bay Area and the spread of Burning Man art off-playa. As they put it:
The influence of the Burning Man art scene is spreading beyond the desert playa. Over the past decade iconic sculptures have found new homes in urban settings, and major civic installations by former “burners” like Leo Villareal (The Bay Lights) are gaining critical and popular acclaim.
One of the forces behind this trend is the Black Rock Arts Foundation, whose mission is supporting community-driven interactive projects with a Burning Man aesthetic.
Got “First World” problems? Why not look to other countries for solutions?
Founded by in 2006 by artists with extensive backgrounds in cross-cultural community organizing and international development (Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Matey Odonkor, with Maria del Carmen Montoya joining the team in 2009), the Ghana ThinkTank collects local problems and sends these problems to various locations in their global network of think tanks. (Ghana, Cuba, Serbia, and Iran are just a few.) They have also collected “digital problems,” and worked with incarcerated youth in the United States.
In 2011, BRAF awarded the Ghana ThinkTank a grant to help them focus on the problems of Corona, Queens. (This project was also funded by Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art.)
After cruising the neighborhood in a custom-built teardrop trailer to collect community and personal problems, the Ghana ThinkTank ventured back into Corona as a workstation to enact solutions suggested by their international consultants. (They also parked outside the Queens Museum of Art, where visitors could submit their problems and witness the resolution process. The vehicle continued to collect problems from visitors as a 3-month exhibit within the galleries.)
Photo courtesy of the artists
Solutions received from the global network of think tanks included the following:
Establishing legal waiting zones
Pro-immigrant guerilla bus advertisements
Asking police to “highlight the differences between the cop’s world and the real world”
Baking lessons in Queens
Since the Corona project, the Ghana ThinkTank has been involved with these projects:
In this video, collaborators Matthew Passmore (co-founder of Rebar) and Sean Orlando talk about the different facets of Urbanauts, an urban exploration project that merges fieldwork with installation. Through environmental expeditions, mappings, photography and sculpture, Urbanauts is a multi-layered investigation into the aesthetics, purpose and socio-cultural implications of hidden “systems” in the world around us.
Join the artists at the DeYoung Museum tomorrow, Friday, August 2! Enjoy an evening of talks, entertainment, art-making activities for kids and film screenings about the history of urban exploration.
The name “Meow Wolf” brings to mind a sense of two disparate ideas or impulses bring brought together, like a portmanteau or mashup. The call of a domesticated animal, perhaps, that lures you in close enough for you to discover that it is actually a wild creature. And it doesn’t bark (because that would be too obvious) but this sly wolf definitely adds bite to the reality you thought you knew. Although “Meow Wolf” was drawn out of a hat, this multimedia art collective has certainly been living up to its trickster name.
Founded in 2008, Meow Wolf started out as the name of a venue, but eventually referred to the group of creative collaborators that emerged out of that space. Since then, Meow Wolf has brought many installations to life, turning ordinary spaces into whimsical, kaleidoscopic environments that invite visitors to become part of their colorful ecosystems.
In 2012, OmegaMart (which the Black Rock Arts Foundation helped to fund) stealthily made its way into Santa Fe. What may have appeared to be just the new store on the block was actually this group of artists setting up shop and masquerading as store representatives.