Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsletter – March 2014

In This Issue

  • The Bay Lights Anniversary: Two Events
  • Caruso’s Dream: Photos and video
  • Big Art for Small Towns: Lecture and informal reception
  • Grantee Update
    • Bambufonomat

Psst.. stay tuned! Next month’s newsletter will announce BRAF’s 2014 new grantees! We can’t wait to tell you about these projects!


Celebrate The Bay Lights’ one year anniversary with two fun and free events! Read on…

One Year Anniversary Re-Lighting Ceremony

Join us in celebration of this monumental achievement of public art! This week, The Bay Lights celebrates its first birthday. At its exact one-year anniversary, Thursday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m., the piece will go dark for 10 minutes, and artist Leo Villareal will lead a countdown to its re-lighting. The event will be held at Market Bar and is free and open to the public, but if you would prefer to listen in from another vantage point, KFOG-FM 104.5 will broadcast the event and a special 20-minute Bay Lights soundtrack.

The Bay Lights Re-Lighting Ceremony
Thursday, March 6, 2014
7:00 p.m
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Rsvp on Facebook!

Join us and Illuminate the Arts in supporting their effort to keep The Bay Lights on the bridge and lit for at least 10 more years.

The Bay Lights. Photo courtesy of James Ewing.
The Bay Lights. Photo courtesy of James Ewing.

Illuminate your Ride

But wait, there’s more! Let the relighting ceremony inspire you! Come back on Friday, decked in your best blinkie lights and illuminated bike decorations for an illuminated bike party on Friday, March 7. The SF Bicycle Coalition and SF Bike Party will guide us on an illuminated bike ride around the city with stops for dancing and merrymaking. The evening will kick off on in front of the Cupid’s Span bow-and-arrow sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

The Bay Lights: Illuminate Your Ride
Friday, March 7, 2014
Meet at 7:30 p.m., ride at 8:00 p.m.
The Embarcadero at Folsom St
Rincon Park
San Francisco, CA 94107

Ben Davis, visionary of The Bay Lights, will kickoff the event with a talk, and with special tributes to the artist Leo Villareal and the brilliant community that made it possible. At 8 p.m, the talented SF Bike Party volunteers will lead the group on a fun and safe ride through the city with stops to dance and socialize along the way. If ever a time to light up your bike, this is it!


Caruso’s Dream

We hope you were able to join us for the sensational Unveiling Happening Event for And My Room Still Rocks Like a Boat on the Sea (Caruso’s Dream). It was a spectacle to behold! Artists Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn introduced the work to a crowd of at least 1000. The angelic voices of opera singers soared throughout the city block as aerialists descended from the 18 story high-rise, landing on the sculpture and unveiled it for all to see.

Thank you to the many, many talented individuals who contributed to this amazing event:

  • Conductor: Mauro ffortissimo (
  • Composer / Conductor: Veronika Krausas
  • Pianists: Allison Lovejoy, Martha Cooper, Ander Meyer, Benjamin Gribble, Colleen Murray, Esther Aeschbach, Gerry Bassermann, Heather Yager, Kathryn Ketman, Mauro ffortissimo, Richman Newman, Robert Soper, Steffen Gnegel
  • Performers: Zoltan Di Bartolo, Michelle Jasso, Mark Nassar, Erin Neff
  • Aerial Choreographer: Karl Gillick
  • Aerialists: Alayna Stroud, Ariellah Winther, Esther Wrebel, and Shannon Collier
  • Artwork Lighting Designer: Gabriel Rey-Goodlatte
  • Marching Band:The Extra Action Marching Band
  • Artwork Lighting Designer: Gabriel Rey-Goodlatte (under the direction of the artists) Sound Equipment: Gerry Bassermann
  • Stage Manager: Jay Kravitz
  • Event Manager: Jennifer Holmes
  • Projectionist: Chris Dadzitis
  • Event Lighting Designer: Patrick Hajduk
  • Soundboard: Sudhu Tewari
  • Radio Transmission: David Torgersen

…and many, many more who helped produce and create this project and event!

Catch a glimpse of the spectacle in this short video by Steve Mobia:


Caruso's Dream Unveiling Happening Event. Photo by Nick Winterhalter.

Caruso’s Dream Unveiling Happening Event. Photo by Nick Winterhalter.

Caruso's Dream Unveiling Happening Event. Photo by Nick Winterhalter.

Caruso’s Dream Unveiling Happening Event. Photo by Nick Winterhalter.

Thank you to the photographers and videographers who captured the awe of this event! See more of Nick Winterhalter’s photos.

Read more about the project, and about the event in SfGate’s recent article.

And My Room Still Rocks Like a Boat on the Sea (Caruso’s Dream) was supported by Avalon Bay Communities, Inc. The Unveiling Happening was made possible by generous support from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Black Rock Arts Foundation.


Big Art for Small Towns informal Reception Event in Fernley, Nevada

In 2012, BRAF and the City of Fernley, Nevada, launched their new initiative, Big Art for Small Towns. A collaboration with the Burning Man Project, this project was awarded BRAF’s second National Endowment for the Arts grant, an Our Town grant, in the amount of $75,000.

Through the Big Art for Small Towns project, BRAF with the Fernley community, are proud to share three works of public art. The works will be installed in a new city-owned park in the spring of 2014. The first two temporary projects are existing works, the Bottle Cap Gazebo by Max Poynton and Andrew Grinberg and Rockspinner6 by Zachary Coffin.

For the third, permanent work of art, will be a newly created work by local artist Pan Pontoja. An established and respected artist and teacher, Pontoja will work with community members, mostly students, to build a large desert tortoise. The shell of the tortoise will be comprised of hundreds of 4” x 4” painted ceramic tiles of images which reflect the culture of Fernley and the surrounding area.

The City of Fernley and the Black Rock Arts Foundation invite one and all to an informational presentation and reception for their new joint initiative, Big Art for Small Towns. Join us for a brief talk by Big Art for Small Towns artist, Pan Pontoja, on his proposed work of art, Desert Tortoise, and a presentation on the entire Big Art for Small Towns project by the Black Rock Arts Foundation. Light refreshments and a reception will follow. The event coincides with an exhibit of visuals in Fernley’s City Hall.

Big Art for Small Towns Reception and Presentation
March 13, 204
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fernley City Hall
595 Silver Lace Boulevard
Fernley, Nevada 89408

Join us!


Grantee Updates



Now that this project’s BRAF funded exhibition is over, it’s taking off and traveling to new exhibition spaces. Here it is at the Freeze Fest (the project’s BRAF-funded debut.)

Bambufonomat, Freeze fest 2013 from afre on Vimeo.

And here it is on view at a gallery in Germany:

Bambufonomat, Neustadt Multimedia 2014 from afre on Vimeo.


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