Black Rock Arts Foundation Newsletter – November 2013

In This Issue:

  • The Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis – Last Chance For Tickets
  • Aurora in Palo Alto. Support this project and attend the Opening Reception
  • Homouroboros, a.k.a. “The Monkeys,” is back!
  • Apply for a BRAF Grant! LOI’s are due December 1.
  • By the way, BRAF moved
  • Grantee Updates
    • The Metamorphosis Project
    • Project: SUITCASE
    • Fountains
    • Burning Baskets
    • Swap-O-Rama-Rama


The 7th Annual Artumnal Gathering – Tickets going, going, almost gone…

Join us for an evening of tantalizing treats, wondrous pleasures, captivating featured and roaming live performances, DJ’s, original artwork by our favorite artists, dancing, raffle, gallery art sale, live and silent auction featuring exclusive experiences and items, and abundant expressions of creativity!

The Artumnal Gathering: Metamorphosis
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Bently Reserve 400 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Dinner 6:00 p.m.
Main Event 9:45 p.m.

Dinner tickets, and the first two tiers of Main Event tickets are sold out, but you can still join the party! Buy your third tier Main Event ticket today!

Don’t miss this greatly anticipated annual event. Don your finest playa-formal attire and mix and mingle with your fellow BRAF supporters and extended community. This year will be spectacular!

learn more

Images from 2012's Artumnal Gathering

Images from 2012’s Artumnal Gathering



Aurora in Palo Alto

This project needs your support!

The Aurora Palo Alto project began when local school children Sam and Julia Hirschman saw images of artist Charlie Gadeken’s beautiful glowing willow tree sculpture and immediately asked, “Why can’t we have art like that here?” Since that moment they have been working with their father Harry, the artist, other local youth, Palo Alto business and government organizations, BRAF, and other collaborators to bring the work to their hometown.

The Aurora Crew is ready to install the piece, but they’ll take a big financial hit in doing so unless they can raise some more money to cover their costs. Please consider lending this project a hand! Aurora Palo Alto has launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to cover their costs. At you can pledge to sponsor an LED, a leaf, or a branch of the tree for it’s civic installation and support.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, see

Local Palo Alto children Sam and Julia with Chares Gadekan's Aurora.

Local Palo Alto children Sam and Julia with Chares Gadekan’s Aurora.


Aurora Opening Reception

This project is worth celebrating! Please join us, the artist, the Hirschman family, the Aurora Kids, the mayor and the Palo Alto community for the project’s Opening Reception. Stop by and make a leaf for Aurora at this fun-filled event!

Aurora in Palo Alto, Opening Reception
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Ceremony starts at 5:00 p.m. but festivities begin at 3:00 p.m.
Free, family-friendly event with free parking

City Hall
250 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Aurora’s canopy will be lit for the first time for the general public shortly after sunset, which occurs at 5:32 PM.


See Homouroboros in San Francisco!

The monkeys are back! The Exploratorium and BRAF are thrilled to support the presentation of Homouroboros, large-scale interactive zoetrope by celebrated BRAF and Burning Man artist Peter Hudson, at Pier 15 in San Francisco. You may remember BRAF’s installation of the piece at the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum in 2008. Since that brief but impactful exhibition, our community and supporters have been dying to see it again! Monkeys, we’ve missed you!

“We are thrilled to support the exhibition of Peter Hudson’s wonderful and whimsical work in front of the Exploratorium,” says Tomas McCabe, Executive Director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation. “It creates a great opportunity to extend the audience for the work, and to captivate the residents and tourists on San Francisco’s waterfront.”


Homouroborus at The Exploratorium. Photo by Scott Hess

Homouroborus at The Exploratorium. Photo by Scott Hess

Don’t miss the monkeys again!

Limited engagement, October 24 – November 18, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., daily

In the public plaza at Pier 15 at San Francisco’s Embarcadero, 
San Francisco, CA

The work will be on exhibit for the launch of the Bay Area Science Festival on October 24, and available for public interaction from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Don’t miss the deadline! Artists, apply for a BRAF grant!

BRAF is now accepting Letters of Inquiry (LOI’s) for our 2014 Grant Cycle! Read more about our grants criteria and instructions on how to apply.

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. Does this sound like your artwork? Apply for a BRAF Grant!

Full proposals for BRAF’s grants are received by invitation only. To be considered for invitation, submit a Letter of Inquiry by December 1, 2013.

To see if your project qualifies for a BRAF grant read our grant criteria, full grant timeline and application instructions.

We can’t wait to hear about your project!


We’ve Moved! BRAF is in a new office space as of 10/21/13

The Black Rock Arts Foundation and its “Sister” organizations Black Rock City, LLC (the organization that produces the Burning Man event), The Burning Man Project, Burners Without Borders, and Black Rock Solar have moved from our location at 995 Market Street to 660 Alabama Street in San Francisco. While we remain involved and engaged with the Mid-Market neighborhood and community, our new office space offers more room for these organizations to grow, as well as a floor plan more conducive to collaboration and cross-pollination.

Please address any correspondence to our new mailing address:

Black Rock Arts Foundation
660 Alabama Street
San Francisco, CA 94110-2008

All other contact details, including our phone number at 415-626-1248, will remain the same.


Grantee Updates


BRAF 2013 Grantee – The Metamorphosis Project

You have several opportunities to see this ‘transformative’ installation!

First of all, if you’re in San Francisco, don’t miss it at the Artumnal Gathering on November 23rd!

After that, the installation will will be exhibited in Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art until 2016.

2013 Grantee The Metamorphosis Project. Photo courtesy of the artist.

2013 Grantee The Metamorphosis Project. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Congratulations to the artists!


BRAF 2013 Grantee – Project: SUITCASE

Misa Rygrova reports from Prague that Project: SUITCASE is thriving! To date twelve art suitcases are done and ready to travel. Suitcases have already visited Italy, Hungary, and the United States and you can follow their adventures here.

Over the past month the suitcases—which have proven to be extremely popular with both children and adults—appeared all over Prague: at a picnic on the tram tracks, in the Cafe Potrva, and in the Get Ready to Reclaim Your City happening.

The next big event will be European Theatre Night on November 16. The suitcases will start their journey at Theater DISK and with help of visitors and participants will find their way to the theaters of Prague.

The project is continually open to creative submissions and more suitcases are being transformed into art pieces. The project welcomes people who would love to get involved; as suitcase creators, as carriers or as volunteers who would like to display the suitcases and bring their art to people. For more information please contact the team at href="misa " target="_blank">misa

2013-09-24 18.30.21



All photos by Misa Rygrova.


BRAF 2011 Grantee – Fountains

Conceptual artist Lauren Woods invites you to the unveiling of her provocative A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project, a novel public artwork and meditation on a dramatic moment in the history of the struggle for civl rights in the United States. The highlight of this ambitious work is the unveiling of Drinking Fountain #1 in an interactive interventionist new media monument on November 15, 2013.

A Dallas Drinking Fountain
Friday, November 15, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Dallas County Records Building Lobby
509 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75202 (near the John F. Kennedy Memorial)


BRAF 2007 Grantee Mavis Muller

Mavis Muller was a lead artist in Maui’s contribution to the Circles of Regional Effigies (CORE burn) at Burning Man this year. She continues her sizzling pace of community based, interactive, impermanent art. The 10th annual Burning Basket in her hometown of Homer, Alaska took place recently. ENJOY, a sculpture of a large intricately woven basket was co-created using natural materials gathered from the countryside, given as a gift for interaction, and released through fire, making it the 27th in the series. The irrepressible Mavis calls out to each of us when she proclaims: “Here’s to collaborative art that is out in the open where anyone may stumble upon it and realize that our imagination is worth more than we imagine.”

Follow Mavis at




2005 Grantee – Swap-O-Rama-Rama

Author Wendy Jehanara Tremayne has been on the road with her new book The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living. After a recent whirlwind tour of Northern California Tremayne is preparing a round of future appearances.

The stories in The Good Life Lab begin in the Nevada desert. Wendy’s discovery of Black Rock City’s gift economy is the impetus that sets in motion the adventures that follow. She and her partner, Mikey Sklar, then quit their New York careers in search of a de-commodified life. Inspired by Burning Man’s ethos of self-reliance, the couple built an off-grid homestead in southern New Mexico. Today they make their own food, shelter, fuel, power. and domestic goods. This book tells their story.

The Good Life Lab is arty, practical, and contemplative. It teaches lifestyle skills like making your own fuel, building out of waste, remodeling shipping containers, living off grid, recovering dead batteries and hacking appliances. Wendy shows how those alive today are the first generation to experience the whole world for sale and she maps a way to live a decommodified life that is less reliant on money.

Check out the rave reviews below and stay tuned for more tour dates.

“A rollicking inspiring tale” — Publishers Weekly (Picked For Best Summer Book 2013)

“.. a must read for any maker who fantasizes about stepping off the consumer-centered treadmill and into a life that is connected to nature, unhurried and meaningful.” – Boing Boing

“The Good Life Lab is a how-to guide for anyone ready to give back to the Earth more than he or she takes.” – New York Journal of Books

“Stop whatever you’re doing and get this book.” – Hack A Day

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