Art and About with Burning Man Creativity

Want to get in the spirit before hitting the playa? Well, here’s a handy guide to all the Burning Man artworks you can check out along the way. Now that’s a road trip!

Flying into Reno

Check out the Burning Man exhibit “Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man” at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Terminal C. Curated, produced and mounted by Danger Ranger and Dusty, it features amazing large-scale photographs of mutant vehicles.


Fernley, Nevada is currently featuring two pieces supported by funding our Civic Arts program received from the National Endowment for the Arts. Max Poynton and Andrew Grinberg’s “Bottlecap Gazebo and the refurbished “Desert Tortoise” created by Pan Pantoja and the students of Fernley can both be found at Fernley’s Main Street Park, 610 East Main St., Fernley.

The “Bike Bridge” was a collaborative project with lead artist Michael Christian and 12 youth artists, all young women, enrolled in welding classes at The Crucible. Supporting artists Benjamin Carpenter and Orion Fredericks also helped with the creation and installation of the finished piece.

The Bike Bridge was first displayed in downtown Oakland, traveled to Black Rock City, and can now be seen on the right hand side of the road in Gerlach as you take the second curve through town.


On your way to Wadsworth, look for “Transition Portalcreated by Kate Raudenbush. It was commissioned by the Nevada Department of Transportation and opened in November 2017 to mark the entrance of the new Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the largest technological industrial park in the U.S.

Transition Portal is a monumental sculptural gateway intended to herald the arrival of future technology and its creators. Its 30-foot tall, 15-foot wide illuminated presence welcomes us to a place of visionary new beginnings. Off of I-80 East, take the USA Parkway (Exit 32); the sculpture can be seen on your right.


The first trailhead for the Washoe ArTrail was just completed in mid-August! It’s in Crystal Peak Park in Verdi, Nevada, just 10 miles west of Reno. The ArTrail project is a collaboration between Washoe County and Burning Man Project. 

Staying a Little Longer in Reno? Check these out

If you’re passing through or staying in Reno, stop by and say hello to Bryan Tedrick’s “Portal of Evolution,” purchased by the City of Reno. You’ll recognize Portal from Black Rock City in 2009, and from its stay in front of Reno’s City Hall in 2012–2013. Now it’s at the east end of Bicentennial Park, 10 Ralston St. in Reno.

Also in Reno is “The Space Whale,” a 50-foot full-scale stained glass and steel sculpture of a humpback whale mother and calf, by Matthew Schultz, Andy Tibbetts and Android Jones with Space Whale LLC, funded in part by a BRC Honorarium in 2016. Along with Reno City funding, the artists also received a Burning Man Global Art Grant in 2017 to support the installation of project in the downtown Reno City Plaza.

The “Reno Playa Art Park” is on display in downtown Reno on North Virginia Street between 5th and 6th Streets. Nine different works that have appeared in Black Rock City are currently featured. The project received Global Art Grants from Burning Man in 2016-2018 and was project managed by Maria Partridge/Artech. 

The Art Park will be in transition on your way to BRC since several of the sculptures will be on playa. There will be three new sculptures coming from the 2019 event for a total of 12. Be sure to check out the great playa mural by Joe. C. Rock!

BELIEVE” by Jeff Schomberg and Laura Kimpton is now permanently installed in City Plaza at the corner of First Street and Virginia Street, near the famous Reno arch.

For those who don’t know already, Kate Raudenbush’s “Guardian of Eden” is a part of the Nevada Museum of Art’s permanent collection and is installed in front of the museum on Liberty St.

A few blocks away Jerry Snyder’s fantastic 50-foot long “Ichthyosaur Puppet” is installed in the entry of the Nevada Discovery Museum.

At the other end of town, near Whole Foods and located at the busiest intersection in Northern Nevada, is Mark Szulgit’s “Cosmic Star Thistle.” This piece was repainted by the City of Reno to its original white in 2017.

Tree Spire” by Iron Monkeys in Whitaker Park (550 University Terrace, Reno). 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.

Four Burning Man sculptures have recently been installed along Fourth Street between West Street and Ralston Street. Starting on the corner of West St. you will find “Bloom by Michael Christian, then “Rearing Horse” by Barry Crawford. Across the street in front of the Sands Hotel, “Squared by Charlie Gadekan and finally on the corner of Ralston and Fourth “Desert Guard” by Lu Ming from Beijing.

Sierra Arts Gallery features Jewels of the Playa, photographs by documentary photographer Eleanor Preger. The exhibit is up from August 6 – September 3, 2019.

These beautiful projects add to Reno’s art and culture landscape and reflect just how deeply the Biggest Little City is influenced by Burning Man and Black Rock City, and in turn how that translates into Reno’s cultural impact on its citizens and tourists.

You can also download this great map of Playa Art in Reno put together by Art Spot Reno.

About the author: Katie Hazard

Katie Hazard

Katie Hazard (yes that’s her real last name) is the Associate Director of Art Management for Burning Man. She leads the selection, placement, and installation of over 400 artworks annually in Black Rock City and beyond. She’s been passionate about arts administration and grants management for many years; she has a degree in Art History from the University of Notre Dame, worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and spent 10 years at Harvard University as a Senior Grants Manager. Katie’s first year on playa was 2000, and she volunteered for 10 years (DMV, Man Base Lighting, art build crews, theme camp organization, Fire Conclave) before joining the staff in 2013. Katie is also a certified yoga teacher and has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for more than a decade.

One comment on “Art and About with Burning Man Creativity