The Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to announce the exhibition of Celtic Forest by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg.

Celtic Forest at BRAF’s 2008 gala: ARTumnal Gathering photo: Camera Girl

Celtic Forest as seen at Burning Man 2008
RENO, NV – Previously exhibited at Burning Man in 2008, “Celtic Forest: Book of the Raven” will soon transform an empty lot into a dramatic interactive art installation, performance venue and community gathering spot. Its presentation is 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.

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

This outdoor exhibit will run July 1 through December 1, 2009

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 states, “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…”

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.

“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.

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