The Tree Spire in Reno

Please join us for the dedication of Tree Spire, k DSC_0502 As the sun was setting on this beautiful Reno fall day Tree Spire ends its installationa permanent installation, on Thursday, December 10th at 12:30 pm.

A gift to the families and citizens that enjoy Whitaker Park!

Funded by Burning Man and exhibited in Black Rock City 2007, “Tree Spire” was the first project created by the Seattle art collective, the Iron Monkeys.  They created 4 fifteen-foot tall trees that were part of the “Mangrove”, a group of simulated trees fashioned from recycled industrial materials, surrounding the center-focused icon The Man.  These artificial trees were not burned: they survived to subdivide the blue of other skies.

M DSC_0532 Tabasco, T-Bone, Dave Moore, Maria Partridge, Richard Johnson, Crimson Rose and Stacey Spain Brought to the south bank of the Truckee River in downtown Reno, on the corner of Sierra Street and Island Avenue after the 2008 Burning Man event, the “Tree Spire” was displayed in the center of a collection of eight tree sculptures made by five different artist collectives called The Mangrove.  The creative works were made from construction waste and reclaimed materials.  The [BRAF] and a Project Grant from the City of Reno’s Art and Culture Commission funded this project.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation was awarded a Public Art Challenge Grant in 2008 towards the permanent installation of “Tree Spire” in a city park.  That grant was matched by donations from Ward 5, Old Northwest Neighborhood Advisory Board, and City Councilman David Aiazzi to place the sculpture in Whitaker Park.  Additional funding came from The Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, Reno Burners LLC, and the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation thanks the following people, businesses and organizations for their generous support of Tree Spire:

  • City of Reno: Christine Fey, Stacey Spain, Councilman David Aiazzi, City
    of Reno Parks & Recreation
  • Black Rock Arts Foundation: Crimson Rose, Maria Partridge
  • Reno Volunteers: Richard Johnson, Bill Schultz, Erika Wesnousky, Dave Kaul, Berry Scott
  • Ward 5, Old Northwest Neighborhood Advisory Board
  • Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation
  • Reno Burners LLC
  • Fernley Electric
  • Ahearn Equipment, Inc.
  • Clean Energy Center
  • Telesto Nevada Inc.
  • United Ready Mix
  • Black Rock City, LLC – Burning Man

AND to the Artists that made it happen: Tabasco Mills, T-Bone, Dave and the Iron Monkeys!

The Iron Monkeys are a Seattle-based metalworking collective, working under the gentle guidance and watchful eye of Tabasco Mills, owner of Seattle’s The Blacksmith Shop .

h1 DSC_0564 bench set into place They work together creating large-scale sculptural pieces, often containing functional elements, and work collaboratively to evolve designs as each work is being developed.  Their work has been on display temporarily in Black Rock City at the Burning Man event, Reno Mangrove, Burien Interim Arts Space, and permanently at Rainier Vista’s Central Park in South Seattle, Washington and now in Whitaker Park, in northwest Reno, Nevada.

For more information on other activities of the Black Rock Arts Foundation –

About the author: Affinity


Affinity, a Burner since 2000, was legally married on the Playa in 2001, was wedding coordinator and then training coordinator at Burning Man, before becoming the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) Social Media Coordinator and an Advisory Board Member. An attorney, she served on the Board of Directors of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference. She interned with the Human Awareness Institute for 10 years. She writes about how art is envisioned, produced, created, installed and its afterlife.

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