Introducing the 2024 Black Rock City Honoraria

Burning Man Arts is thrilled to spark your curiosity about the artworks selected for the Black Rock City 2024 Honoraria Program! This program is just one of the many ways the global nonprofit Burning Man Project amplifies creative expression in BRC and beyond.

This is only the beginning of the magic and wonder that arise from artists uniting their friends, families, and communities to bring their wildest creative dreams to life. So buckle up and join us as we embark on a journey filled with art, innovation, audacious creativity, and the power of human connection!

More Money for Art!

The annual budget for the Honoraria Program art grants was last increased — to $1.2M — in 2018. In recent years, the economic climate has posed significant challenges, with artists experiencing rising costs and a decrease in their fundraising capabilities. Thanks to the generosity of numerous donors who have demonstrated their passion for art in Black Rock City, we are thrilled to share that we’ve been able to increase Honoraria funding by an additional $100,000, for an annual total of $1.3M — that is what we like spending money on!

Burning Man Project is the nonprofit in service to the global Burning Man cultural movement. Support our year-round work with a tax-deductible donation.

The Honoraria Program typically funds 40-60% of proposed project budgets. By not fully funding projects, the program stimulates artists’ creative energy while developing their capacity around fundraising, which generates community involvement and momentum. Rather than increasing the number of Honoraria projects with the additional money, we are prioritizing funding projects at a higher percentage of their proposed budget. As a result, we increased award amounts for 26% of the selected projects beyond their requests, focusing on those who requested less than 40% of their budget, whenever feasible.

This year, we received 547 Letters of Intent, and invited 375 projects to submit full proposals. We are delighted to announce that 76 projects will receive funding for Black Rock City in 2024, promising another year of memorable art installations.

“A Seat on the Throne” by Chelsea Odufu

The Selection Process

When selecting Honoraria projects, our focus extends beyond individual value judgments in order to prioritize crafting a holistic experience as diverse as the citizens of BRC. Rather than selecting the “best” artworks — which is of course very subjective — we curate a collection that encompasses a broad spectrum of aesthetics, vibes, and experiences.

Our goal is to embrace the rich diversity of our community and the various ways art facilitates participation. We consider families, fire enthusiasts, climbers, those that need to take a pause and have a seat, a melange of global cultures, lovers of stories, treasure hunters, rock ‘n’ rollers, meditators, bicyclists who delight in weaving through art installations, and everyone in between. 

“The Reckoning” by Julia Jerome

We aim to ensure the Honoraria collection represents a variety of scale and scope, as well as diverse concepts, ranging from whimsical and playful to thought-provoking. We look for fiery spectacles and dazzling lighting, as well as serene and contemplative oases. We welcome novel interpretations of the annual theme and artworks that transcend thematic boundaries. Throughout the selection process, we prioritize core criteria such as interactivity, visual appeal, impact, and sheer creativity, while offering support to both emerging and experienced artists. Finally, we are committed to celebrating diversity and encouraging environmental sustainability. 

As technology evolves, we recognize the growing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in image creation and written materials in grant applications. AI is another tool in an artist’s toolkit, and we are mindful to consider things like, “Will it actually look like that?” or “Is this really feasible to construct?” We investigate artists’ past work to help gauge feasibility. And sometimes we take calculated risks, understanding that we are investing in an artist and their community as much as their artwork. 

“Fable Bound” by Kyle Stewart and Build to Strike

2024 Theme — Curiouser and Curiouser

Every year, the playa’s blank canvas undergoes a remarkable transformation, blossoming into a fantastical wonderland of creativity and imagination. This year’s theme offered artists an extra dose of inspiration, igniting a spark of curiosity and encouraging them to delve into the realm of exploration and wonder. 

“The End of Time” by Andrea Greenlees and Andy Tibbetts

The open playa will contain an abundance of experiences designed to disorient and dazzle our perceptions. While “Tempus Turibulum, the Time Burner” might keep you punctual with fire poofers, Andrea Greenlees and Andy Tibbetts are hoping to trigger the death of all clocks and declare a forever Teatime with their project, “The End of Time.” 

Black Rock City is an ideal place for artists to experiment with scale, offering another way to challenge perception. “Banana for Scale” brings the popular meme to the playa with a 30’ long banana that seems destined to make it into the subreddit /r/BananasForScale. A larger-than-life dryer, “Sock-o-tron 4200” welcomes participants inside to spin the drum like a human hamster wheel, activating an immersive “drying” effect.

“Banana for Scale” by Caroline Kamm

Several projects harness the power of collective participation to create topsy-turvy interactions. “Interlace” features three hyperboloids that participants spin to unlock a trippy illusion, while “The (Im)possible Dialogue,” presents a circle of heads that can be rotated to harmonize sound and lighting. “Kaleidoscope Hole” is made of three tall, rotatable rings that form a kaleidoscopic tunnel pointed at the Man; prepare to tumble down a rabbit hole of wonder. Additionally, Rebekah Waites’ “Relevé Ladies” creates the illusion of spinning dresses, which appear to defy gravity.

The curiosity and wonder behind this year’s theme are widespread. You might experience a shocking surprise if you are curious enough to play with “Bad Hatter,” a giant top hat that contains percussive solenoid instruments. Chinese artist Miao He, who brought the pink bunny in 2023, returns with a 26-foot tall mushroom, “Mona Mushroom.” An old favorite that hasn’t been to BRC since 2018 is returning with some upgrades — “Radial Sonic Runway” will make an excellent Wonderland of light in motion. 

“Zozobot the Curious Clown” by Walker Babington

Other Highlights and Themes

After a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 and 2023 were a time to collectively process the emotions arising from global uncertainty, both within and beyond Black Rock City. And like a pendulum, sentiments have shifted; we found a sense of lightheartedness in many of the art concepts this year. While the world certainly isn’t all unicorns and rainbows right now, the open playa may evoke a playful, whimsical vibe in 2024. We are so ready for some fun, and it appears many artists are too.

The projects this year include not one, not two, but THREE projects featuring unicorns! “Dream Slide” invites participants to slide down a unicorn’s mane, “Monoceros” delves into unicorn lore aboard a gilded boat with a unicorn at the prow. “The Purple Unicorn” is a fiberglass sculpture paying homage to American hot rod culture with a dazzling custom paint finish. And “Polychroma” features a shimmering rainbow, representing a multicolored approach to beauty, diversity, strength, justice, and ecological health.

“Sky Gazing” by Patrick Shearn and Poetic Kinetics

Speaking of rainbows, there are a number of projects that embrace a vibrancy of color to catch your eye. “Promise of the Century” invites interaction with prismatic elements to create rainbow light. Patrick Shearn’s “Sky Gazing” will beckon you to look up at a canopy of colorful fabric ribbons spanning 400 feet and hovering 60 feet in the air. And we are very excited about “The Mothership Connection” by Zak Ové, which blends Pacific Northwest totem making, African and Caribbean cultural traditions, and Afrofuturism. This project comes with support from Project Aikido, an organization with the goal of bringing African art and music to Burning Man.

A maritime theme sets sail with boats, coral, a sea serpent, and even a pile of treasures, which will make an excellent backdrop for a flash mob of pirates or a chorus of sea shanties reveling on the ancient Lake Lahontan. Notably, “Naga and the Captainness” is led by a team of women artists who are impressively experienced builders. They are creating a sea serpent and shipwreck scene with an abundance of delightful elements to explore.

“Naga and the Captainess” by Cjay Roughgarden, Stephanie Shipman, Jackie Scott, and Crew, supported by Five Ton Crane

Burning Man is known for fire art, and 2024 will be no exception. 17 Honoraria projects are planning to play with fire and flame effects. The Iron Monkeys are bringing another stunning project, “Glimmer,” a grand crown made of steel vines, vibrant resin flowers, and colorful gems that will come to life at night with flame effects. Our tallest Honoraria project, “Coney McConeface: The Life and Death of a Traffic Cone” elevates a basic traffic cone to a 60-foot-tall towering shrine of safety that will go up in flames. “Goa Gil Farewell Darshan” celebrates Black Rock City’s electronic music origins by paying tribute to Goa Gil, one of the founders of the Goa trance and psytrance movement. Goa Gil, who passed away last October, DJed at Burning Man’s first rave-style sound camp in 1992.

“Coney McConeface: The Life and Death of a Traffic Cone” by Chris (aka Kiwi) Hankins and Conecophany Collective

Two additional “fire” projects are exploring a more sustainable way to burn with artificial fire. “Camp-Fire” will use programmable LEDs and sensors to mimic one of the first places where people would gather and connect — around a fire. “Styx and Stones” is an immersive installation of “fire”: a 90’ long realistic river of flickering flames made from billowing hand-cut silks, with a glowing footbridge that beckons the brave to traverse its fiery embers. Now that we are coming up on five years since publishing our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap, we are pleased to report that 41% of the Honoraria projects demonstrated a significant effort towards sustainability in their proposals, via innovative solutions to power, materials, and transport, or the artwork’s message. That is up by more than 17% over last year!

“Styx and Stones” by Cody Steele

In addition to 18 states in the US, including the unincorporated territory Puerto Rico, we’re pleased to include 12 international Honoraria projects this year. There are two from the United Kingdom and one each from Belgium, China, Colombia, Estonia, France, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. Some of the 2024 Honoraria artists have just started making art recently, while others have been contributing to the art at Burning Man for over 25 years. Four of this year’s Honoraria recipients will be coming to Black Rock City for the first time!

There’s so much to be excited about, and we can’t wait to share it all with you. 

How You Can Get Involved

It’s important to note that the vast majority of the 400+ art installations in Black Rock City receive no financial support from Burning Man Project. Our commitment to supporting ALL artists runs deep, and we recognize that fostering a vibrant creative community goes beyond financial assistance. This includes offering access to heavy equipment, conducting engineering reviews, facilitating communications outreach, and providing partnerships with our team throughout the artistic journey. By leveraging our resources and expertise, we cultivate an environment where artists can thrive and bring their visions to life, enriching the collective experience in our city.

“Camp-Fire” by Wilhelmus Vlug

Check out the following list of 2024 BRC Honoraria projects, and if you have a vision that’s missing from the list, you are warmly invited to make it happen. Do you have skills to contribute and want to help an existing art project? Then please check out our collaboration tool Spark.

Without further ado, we’d like to introduce this year’s Honoraria recipients.
Drum roll, please…

The 2024 Black Rock City Honoraria Recipients

A Capsule of Curiosity — Andi Morency and The Gryphonart Collective – Honors Academy of Literature Student Artist Group — Reno, NV

A Moment in an Aeon — Iyvone Khoo and Miguel Guzman — Joshua Tree, CA

A Seat on the Throne — Chelsea Odufu — Newark, NJ

Always Another Sunrise — Chelsey Hathman — Oakland, CA

Anti-Gravitational Chamber — Intergalactic Confederation — Grass Valley, CA

Apex of Azure — Anna Gribovsky — San Francisco, CA

Bad Hatter — Neil Mendoza and Winslow Porter and Birmingham!! — Albuquerque, NM; New York, NY

Banana for Scale — Caroline Kamm — Brussels, Belgium

¡¡¡¡Big Spinning Wheels!!!! — Josh Cohen and PDA — Roxbury, NY

Black Rock City Supper Club — Carlyn Perona King — Reno, NV

Camp-Fire — Wilhelmus Vlug — Volendam, The Netherlands

Carried by the Wind — Cameron Anne Mason and Dusty Nation — Seattle, WA

Celestial Syzygy Garden — Shane Robinson and TRM Artistic Metal Creations — Dolan Springs, AZ

Coney McConeface: The Life and Death of a Traffic Cone — Chris Hankins and Conecophany Collective — Dargaville, New Zealand

COQUÍ — NiNo Alicea and The Parliament Art Crew — Los Angeles, CA; Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico

DANCING BALLOON ROBOT — Sepehr Ghassemi and SEP GHAS — Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Seattle, WA; Tehran, Iran

Desert Pop — Lance Dehne — Reno, NV

Dream Slide — William Nemitoff and Curious Form — New Orleans, LA

Equinox of Curiosity — Candice Stewart and Cozy Torpedo — Asheville, NC

Fable Bound — Kyle Stewart and Build to Strike — Denver, CO

Gaia Weeps — Michael Malecki and Dmitriy Yastrebov — Grass Valley, CA; Bowling Green, KY

Glimmer — Tabasco Mills and Iron Monkeys — Seattle, WA

Goa Gil Farewell Darshan — Gaby Tello and Friends of Goa Gil — Oakland, CA

Habitat — Mark Rivera and Kidnetick — Santurce, Puerto Rico

H E A R T H — Mckenzie Genin and The Green Bucket Lab — Woodside, CA

Heartless Dino — Arturo Gonzalez and Arte Conciencia — Saltillo, Mexico

Interlace — Josh Zubkoff & Srikanth Guttikonda with Looking Up Arts — San Francisco, CA

Kaleidoscope Hole — Michaela Hares — Eugene, OR

Light Curve — Sam Cooler with Art for Open Spaces — San Francisco, CA

Live Dangerously, Carefully — Jamie Joyce — Berkeley, CA; Houston, TX

Lost in Thought — Matthew Schultz — Reno, NV

Mare — Francesco Campanella and OTG — Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL

Mariposa — Christopher Schardt — Oakland, CA

Mona Mushroom — Miao He and Promoting Art (PART) center — Hangzhou, China

Monoceros — Harley Bergsma — Truth or Consequences, NM

Naga and the Captainess — Cjay Roughgarden, Stephanie Shipman, Jackie Scott, and Crew, supported by Five Ton Crane — Oakland, CA

Nebula Shroom Grove — Silvia Rueda and Understory — Bogotá, Colombia; London, United Kingdom

Ogoh Ogoh The Karmic Questioner — I Wayan Sunarinta and The Karma Collective — Bali, Indonesia

Organic Study No. 4 — Luis Varela-Rico — Las Vegas, NV

P.O.D.S. (Plants of Dimensional Spatiality) — Tyler Fuqua and Tyler FuQua Creations — Eagle Creek, OR

Penumbra — ArtBuilds Collective — San Diego, CA

Perpetual Motion — David Boyer — Reno, NV

Pipedream — Scott Ashkenaz (Smash) & the Swingers — San Francisco, CA

Polychroma — Emily Nicolosi and In Theory Art Collective — Huntsville, UT

Promise of the Century — Alyssa Oliveira and Alpine Artists Collective — Olympic Valley, CA

Radial Sonic Runway — Robert Jensen and The Sonic Runway Crew — Berkeley, CA

Reclamation of a Stolen Heart — Nathaniel Holben and Strength in Numbers Collective — Martinez, CA

ReHatchosaurus Recyclosaurus III (aka R3) — Lynda Traves and Reno Core Project — Reno, NV

Release — Dana Albany — San Francisco, CA

Relevé Ladies — Rebekah Waites — Los Angeles, CA

Rhinoceros — Barry Crawford — Silver Springs, NV

Rushmore — Mr and Mrs Ferguson — Alameda, CA

Scared Sacred — Beau Blanche — Los Angeles, CA

Shell — Colin Bowring and Rainbow Geometric — Oakland, CA

Sky Gazing — Patrick Shearn and Poetic Kinetics — Colorado Springs, CO

SLOW — Eva Reiska, Layna Joy Rivas and Collaboration between Circular Design MA students of Estonian Academy of Arts (Estonia), Ravens Landing (USA) and V2GI (Estonia) — Tallinn, Estonia; Clearlake Oaks, CA

Sock-o-tron 4200 — Socks Stray and Sockdrawer — San Francisco, CA

Styx and Stones — Cody Steele — Philadelphia, PA

Tall Tails — Clinton Lesh — Bozeman, MT

Tempus Turibulum, the time burner — Alexander Rose and Tempus Turibulum — Sausalito, CA

The (Im)possible Dialogue — Jean Collin-Satre and FAFA — Poissy, France

The (Middle Path) Bridge Between Heaven and Earth — See See Kwan — El Cerrito, CA

The (re)Salvaged Spoon — Taylor Simpson and The Sunrise Art Collective — Seattle, WA

The Basic Bench — Daniel L. Paster and DPDB LLC — Boulder, CO; San Diego, CA

The End of Time — Andrea Greenlees and Andy Tibbetts — London, United Kingdom; Reno, NV

The Mothership Connection — Zak Ové and Project Aikido — Las Palmas, Spain; London, United Kingdom

The Portal: An Inquiry into the Liminal — Rahel Campbell and Diaspora Collective — Los Angeles, CA

The Purple Unicorn — Alessandro Thompson and Barnacle Bros. — Oakland, CA

The Reckoning — Julia Jerome — Oakland, CA

The Silence of TENGRI — Turburam Sandagdorj and Wild Horses Collective — Reno, NV

The Solar Library Phase 3, The Solaria — Jared Ficklin and The Other Singularity — Austin, TX

The Teetering Trail of Tooter — Robert Cox — Kalama, WA

Tree Circle — Eira Mooney and Alquem — Växjö, Sweden; Bogotá, Colombia; Ibiza, Spain

Typha — Taylor Dean Harrison — Penngrove, CA

Womantree — Valerie Elizabeth Mallory — Oakland, CA

Zozobot the Curious Clowndroid — Walker Babington — New Orleans, LA

Full project descriptions with images and links will be available later in the spring.

The BRC Honoraria Program relies on the generosity of our community. You can help support this program and an array of on- and off-playa artist services by making a gift here.

We’re so grateful to all the artists who will be sharing their creativity in Black Rock City in 2024, and we can’t wait to explore this outpouring of creativity together!

Cover image: “Equinox of Curiosity” by Candice Stewart and Cozy Torpedo

About the author: Katie Hazard and spec Guy

Katie Hazard and spec Guy

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. | Spec Guy is an Art Management Specialist with Burning Man Project's Art team. In this role, she administers the Honoraria and Temple grant programs, acts as a liaison for selected art projects, manages the ARTerians, and does placement for all art projects. Her superpower is the ability to work through the inherent conflict between the creative process, while executing the organization and strategy required to complete a project.

10 Comments on “Introducing the 2024 Black Rock City Honoraria

  • thefairyprincess says:

    We can’t wait to bring Naga and the Captainess to the playa! We’ve kicked off our build and will need all the help we can get to keep our momentum going – please consider sending us a donation today to support this wonderful and whimsical art piece!

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  • Lux Aeterna says:

    I am almost going insane with pleasure looking at these gorgeous designs and projects. Can’t wait to see these on playa.

    (Katie/Spec – I know I’ve asked about this before, but please think about bringing back ArtSpeaks. That was the best online thing you and the Project ever did. Keep up the good work.)

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    • spec says:

      Hey, so happy to hear how much you like Art Speaks! This is actually an event series that we do in person on playa, but during the pandemic we took it to the virtual realm to keep connecting everyone with our amazing artists and their art projects. Post-pandemic we reverted back to an in-person Art Speaks, but we agree that it’s great to have a virtual event so that anyone can join.

      Desert Arts Preview, which used to be in person in San Francisco, is now a virtual event where selected artists share videos about their project and chat with Katie live. Mark you calendar for that – June 2nd – times and list of artists are coming. Hope to see you there!

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  • Hippie Tim says:

    Bring on the Cone-cophony…

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  • Lefty says:

    I think a lot of artists are going to be surprised by the difficulty they face trying to recreate their ai generated proposals. It used to be that your hand drawn scribbles of a sculpture led to delight when you showed up with a polished piece. Now I wonder how starting with a polished prospectus made by a machine is going to pan out. Regardless, can’t wait to see them all!

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  • Lan Lievense says:

    You never disappoint! Please be respectfully reminded that your intriguing efforts are followed and enjoyed and (usually) admired by an unknown number of folks like myself who will likely never appear on the playa, much less succeed in an “exhibit.” All you unique earthlings contribute much more to the world population than, perhaps, you realize. We’re watching! We’re fascinated! We’re appreciative!!!

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  • Barf says:

    I am honestly shocked the Org allows AI-generated art proposals.

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  • Morpheus says:

    Congratulations to the honoraria grantees! For those artists looking for additional funding, we provide supplemental grants annually for Burning Man and Afrikaburn. You can apply via

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  • Mona says:

    Please help us make Mona mushroom magic, dear spores:

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  • Marjan Tor says:

    I recently received confirmation that my art installation has been approved by the BM organization, however, I have noticed that it is not listed on the honoraria’s page. Is this announcement specifically for the prominent artist?
    Thank you.

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