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Cafe Art

The ultimate interactive gallery, the Center Camp Cafe's landmark structure is an ideal home for your art installations. We seek designs and proposals for the Cafe interior, portals, gallery fencing, and exterior locations to energize the Cafe and structure with art.

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Interior pieces:

Art installations inside and surrounding the Cafe should provide an interactive experience for the participants who come to the Cafe day and night. Some examples from previous years are the Celestial Goddesses Obelisk in 2004, the Passage by Minx in 2003, Ganeshafish Altar in 2002, Booth of Reflection by Michael Pedroni in 2001, and Orgasmic Pinball by La Cesari in 2000 and 2003. Pieces should include visual elements enticing during the day and illuminating at night. Exact height and size considerations will vary by piece and placement.

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The Café structure has three grand entrances or portals. The front portal faces the Promenade to the Man, at 12 o'clock on the structure. The two side portals are located at three and nine o'clock. Previous portal artists include Rosanna Scimeca in 2004, Michael Christian in 2003, Finley Fryer in 2002, Royce Carlson in 2001, and David Best in 2000.

The outer edge of the structure is comprised of square arches made of wood 4x4s, with an alternating pattern of awnings extending from the roofline and secured to the ground by cables. The front portal is comprised of three connected 12' wide arches (36' wide by 11' high). Here, the roof to ground awning has been removed to create a more expansive, visually impacting entryway, however the cables must remain in place for structural integrity. The side portals are each made of one 12' wide by 11' high arch, with roof to ground awnings on both sides.

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Portals may extend beyond these measurements out toward the playa and up to two feet above the roofline. They may also extend to either side of the arch widths under the awnings. Any materials above the roofline will be subjected to fierce wind gusts and ALL MATERIALS NEED TO WITHSTAND HIGH WINDS AND WEATHER. The portals will need to be VERY visible day and night. Include internal lighting in your design to ensure that it can be dramatically illuminated. There are also safety considerations, which means no flame-breathing gargoyles-sorry. If your project is heavy, plan to use the ground as support with the Café beams as bracing. If your project is lighter, materials can be mounted onto the Café beams, though ground support is preferred. Large sail-like structures may threaten the integrity of the Café structure and must be avoided.

All Café portals should be installed the week prior to the event. Portals MUST be completed in time for the first Monday of Burning Man. The front portal artist for 2005 has already been selected, however we are accepting proposals for the side portals. Also, we
welcome proposals for future front and side portal installations year-round. Artist's questions prior to submission may be sent to our Artist Liaison.

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Gallery Fence:

Flight Dimensions by Michael Wilson was the 2004 installation, in 2003 Jewels in The Net of Indra by Ezra Eismont transformed it, in 2002, Fluxology by Spacecat was featured, and in 2001, the fence was painted by British graffitti artist Banksy. Help the Café Gallery Fence change faces with your unbelievable vision. If you had a 200' wide x 8' high canvas, what would you do? Keep in mind there is a 25' - 30' gate in the center, just to make things interesting.

A fence does not have to be flat! This year we are changing the use and visual dimensions of the fencings, transforming it to a gallery of multiple artists' work, a soap-box vaudeville-ish stage, and more. We invite anyone who has searched for that flat surface to mount, nail or perch their art upon to contact Artist Liaison for possible placement in this dynamic environment. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, paintings and other art medias on canvas, wood and other such materials.

Please note that the Café structure must be built prior to art installation. Delays may and probably will occur due to severe weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Please consider this "playa time" factor in your installation schedule.

The Café Art, Décor, and Lighting Team may be able to provide assistance to artists whose projects contribute significantly to our overall ambiance and island theme. Some transportation for materials may also be available. Due to limited truck space, large items and those not weatherproofed are not advised. Materials that are shipped may be exposed to the elements prior to your arrival.

Please include the following in your submissions:

  • Your name. If a group project, provide group name.
  • Day and evening phone numbers, email, address, and website (if available.)
  • Images of past Burning Man or other indoor/outdoor projects, if available, which demonstrate your creative style.
  • Drawing or image of proposed artwork, even better if in the context of the Café structure. This does not need to be a professional portfolio package, simple drawings are fine. Our main concern is the design and the practicality of the project.
  • Estimated dimensions of finished project.
  • A lighting plan if appropriate.
  • Estimate of power needs in amps or watts and description.
  • Description of materials, method of creation, plans for transport, installation, and clean-up (including dates.)
  • MOOP Plan

Any questions should be sent to our Artist Liaison and Art, Décor, and Lighting Manager

The deadline for other Café art submissions is July 15th.

Café Interior, Back Fence, or Exterior proposals should be sent to our Artist Liasion.