Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsetter – January 2014

In This Issue

  • Opening Reception for Caruso’s Dream
  • Artumnal Gathering portrait photos
  • Grantee Updates
    • Silent Lights
    • Before I Die…
    • Draw-a-Thon
  • Reminder! BRAF has changed our address

Happy New Year from BRAF! We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!

Caruso’s Dream

Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn have sent in a report and some great photos showing the progress of their new work, “And my room still rocked like a boat on the sea…Caruso’s Dream” (Caruso’s Dream, for short.)

The Opening Event for this stunning new work will be, what they’re calling, “a playful and immersive unveiling.” The artists request that those attending to please bring battery powered FM radios and eye masks to wear at a particular time during the event.

Join us for the Caruso’s Dream Opening Event!
February 23, 2014
Evening (time TBA)
55 9th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

We’re looking for volunteers to make the event happen, especially as 13 pianos will need to be pushed from the Defenestration installation to Caruso’s Dream! 52 volunteers need to join in! For more details and to offer your help contact info .

Read more about Caruso’s Dream in this piece in San Francisco’s Chronicle.

Caruso's Dream

Caruso’s Dream by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn.


The Artumnal Gathering – Portrait photos are here!

We’re still reeling from the lovely memories of 2013’s Artumnal Gathering – all the wonderful art, great friends and good times! And now we have all the photos to prove it! Look at these fantastic photos of you by portrait photographer, Eric Schwabel, and, once again, here are Marco Sanchez’s gorgeous photos of the whole event. Thank you to our talented photographers!

Tag and share Eric’s photos on Facebook, too!


Superstar volunteer Affinity passes on the “Affinity Award” to it’s 2013 recipient, Maria Partridge.

Eric_Schwabel-group-web-2 Eric_Schwabel-group-web-3 Eric_Schwabel-group-web-4 Eric_Schwabel-group-web-5 Eric_Schwabel-group-web-1


Grantee Updates


BRAF 2013 Grantee – Silent Lights

How do you make a freeway underpass playful, fun, meaningful and memorable? New York’s Urban Matter Inc. showed us with their amazing Silent Lights, which was unveiled on a snowy evening in Brooklyn on December 17th, 2013.

Silent Lights is a light installation created in a pedestrian pathway that responds to the large amount of traffic noise on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). The noise is invisible but ever-present, and the installation visualizes the noise and allows pedestrians to see the noise in various patterns.

Artists Valeria Bianco, Shagun Singh, and Rick Lin took over two years to raise funds, design, and build Silent Lights and they are “beyond excited” that the project is up and running.

They are not the only ones. Here’s what Emily Colasacco, Director of the Urban Arts Program of New York City’s Department of Transportation has to say, “An extraordinary experience. The outcome is beyond any I could have imagined. Cities nationwide are starting to explore ways to transform spaces under elevated structures and Silent Lights serves as a prime example of how to activate such a space in a creative and efficient way.”

Silent Lights will be up for at least until December 2014. Here is a wonderful video portrait of the project and check out the coverage on Inhabitat and The Creators Project.

Silent Lights from Urban Matter Inc on Vimeo.


BRAF 2011 Grantee – Before I Die…

Share your personal story with CNN! CNN is working on a story about the Before I Die… project and is looking for people who have written on one of the 439 (yes, 439!) Before I Die… walls and taken action on their aspiration. If that sounds like you or someone you know, artist Candy Change invites you to share your story. You can remain anonymous on the phone or share in any way that is comfortable for you. You can speak to the CNN producer directly by calling Dana at 212-275-7983 or email Liz at liz

The Before I Die… crew thanks you for your help!

Ongoing and upcoming walls: New Orleans, Louisiana currently has a wall at the Ogden Museum installed by Candy Chang. Providence, Ohio is still hosting walls at Kennedy Plaza and Grant’s Block downtown. Brooklyn, New York features a wall at the corner of Washington Ave. and St. John’s Place. Paris, France is creating numerous walls in March in a campaign against drunk driving. Athens, Greece will be hosting the first wall in Greece in April 2014.

Planning a wall? Want to help with a wall? Want your wall included in our ongoing wall directory? Send Liz an email at liz  (liz    and she’ll happily help you out. And if you ever stumble upon a wall, send us photos at hello  (hello   !

2011 BRAF Grantee project,  Before I Die...

2011 BRAF Grantee project, Before I Die…


2013 Grantee – Draw-a-Thon

This 2013 Grantee project was a grand success! Congratulations to the organizers and all the community artists who participated.

Press Street’s 24 Hour Draw-a-thon is the only event of its kind in the city of New Orleans, and perhaps in the nation. This annual art-making and arts education marathon, now in its eighth year, values process over product. Draw-a-thon is 24-hour event open to community participants of all ages, backgrounds and extents of artistic expertise.

Each year, Draw-a-Thon covers the historic Marigny Opera House, floor to wall, with draw-able surfaces, making the entire interior of the building a canvas for the artistic expression of professional and non-professional artists alike. Beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and continuing until 6:30 p.m. Sunday, participants are free to follow their whims, using their choice of materials to draw whatever they like on the available surfaces.

Participants also may choose to join in one of the many ongoing activities and scheduled workshops. For the 2013 event, this diverse offering of activities included the challenge to illustrate ‘undrawable’ stories written by youth participants of New Orleans’ youth creative writing initiative Big Class, and a Black-Friday themed workshop that incorporated ad stock from the 1950s. Scheduled workshops (organized and directed by practicing artists) included puppet-making, an intergalactic creature drawing “battle”, speed figure drawing, self-portraiture as aliens, silk-screening, a sculpture garden, and many others. Thus, Draw-a-Thon blurs the lines between exhibition and exhibitors, resulting in an interactive and eclectic collection of artistic creations that represent the vastness and diversity of the imaginations of the participating community members.

Still don’t have a good visual picture of this event? Check out this cool time-lapse video! Wow!

Draw-a-thon 2013 timelapse from Courtney Egan on Vimeo.


Just a reminder, BRAF has a new home!

The Black Rock Arts Foundation and its “sister” organizations Black Rock City, LLC (the Burning Man event), The Burning Man Project, Burners Without Borders, and Black Rock Solar have moved to 660 Alabama Street in San Francisco. Our new office space offers room for us to grow, as well as a floor plan conducive to collaboration and cross-pollination.

Correspondence may be addressed to:
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.

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