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Burning Man In Washington, DC

“The Temple at Burning Man” by David Best
Courtesy: The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

“The Temple at Burning Man” by David Best

A little bit of Nevada culture has migrated to Washington, DC.

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum has mounted an exhibition of art from Burning Man, which over the years has become an international force of culture.

The museum show, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,”has taken over the entire gallery and some of the surrounding neighborhood. It’s on display through January 2019.

Part of the show includes the "City of Dust," which originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

Ann Wolfe is the senior curator and deputy director at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

She said the original "City of Dust" exhibition was based on the museum's archive of Burning Man materials that it has collected since the festival first started in the Bay Area.

It includes original sketches, pictures, and artifacts from the festival over the years.

“Our exhibition really aimed to re-direct people’s thinking about Burning Man,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe said it will be interesting to see how the curator integrates the archival work from "City of Dust" with the art that is created at Burning Man, which is different than the art usually seen in galleries.

“Burning Man was born of counter-cultural roots and the Renwick is our nation’s museum of craft and so it will be very interesting to see artwork that has essentially been created outside of gallery setting translated and moved inside the white walls of one of our nation’s largest museums,” she said.

Wolfe said artists are drawn to Nevada in general and Burning Man in particular because of the unique landscape.

“The desert offers a site of freedom and it offers kind of this grand stage where they can experiment and create these large-scale artworks," she said,  “It will be interesting to see that translated into the galleries at the Renwick.”

Ann Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno

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Since June 2015, Fred has been a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada.