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Burning Man 2014’s Temple of Grace by David Best + other art grants announced

June 3, 2014

2011BRC3TempleSmrOne of the highlights of Burning Man for many including me is the Temple.Visiting the Temple has always been an important part of my Burning Man experience. First erected by David Best in 2000 and for many subsequent years, it lies just beyond the Man and is burned the final night, Sunday before Labor Day, generally at sunset.

In 2002, Marsh and I spoke with David Best and expressed our appreciation for his work. In 2005, one of the best moments of that Burn was watching the Temple at sunset with my three year old son, husband, and nephew.

Pictured behind this portrait of my family is the Temple of Transition from 2011 built in Reno, Nevada by Chris “Kiwi” Hankins, Diarmaid “Irish” Horkan and Ian “Beave.”  Even in this image you can tell it is a HUGE structure: a 120-foot tiered, hexagonal central tower, surrounded by five 58-foot tiered, hexagonal towers.  Read other posts about previous Temples here for 2011 and here for 2010 and here for 2009.

This year’s Temple, The Temple of Grace, is, once again, the creation of David Best from Petaluma CA.

The building of the Temple, like the Man and a few other large scale projects on the Playa, is funded in part by ticket sales.

Believe it or not, most of the art you see at Burning Man (or in a Burning Man video like Home or this one of “The Place’s You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss) is NOT funded via ticket sales but by the individuals and the camps that created it.

These days, crowd sourcing social media campaigns such as Kickstarter play important roles. This year, the Black Rock Arts Foundation is providing fiscal sponsorship as a pilot project to help Burning Man artists raise necessary funds for their art by enabling tax-deductible contributions to their projects (see the link below the Temple description).

According to the Burning Man website, The Temple of Grace by David Best

Temple of Grace by David Best

” is intended to be a spiritual and sacred space for memorials, reflection, celebration, and to commemorate life transitions. It is the latest in a long line of temples going back to 2000, which started the tradition of the temple built as a spiritual center for this art festival. It is a special work of art given to the community, and is a spiritual refuge where thousands gather, each to engage with it in his or her own way. The community comes to write their memorials and place tokens of their transitions, and it is burned at the end of the festival in a tradition of releasing them by the immolation of the temple.”

At 70+’ high and with a footprint of 80’x80′, the Temple of Grace will sit in a courtyard approximately 150’x150′. The central interior dome nestles within a graceful curved body made of wood and steel with intricately cut wooden panels for the exterior and interior skin; eight altars  surround the temple inside a low-walled courtyard to create a large exterior grounds for the community.


55-b7c7f02162f2187ebcad90a63cce81f8_Otic Way-Satellite with assembly crewAmong many notable projects is “The Otic Way” by Gregg Fleishman, Melissa Barron, and Lightning Clearwater III of  Oakland, CA which has at its center a large shaded pyramid structure for group assemblies, with a module outpost at the apex, and geometric-patterned shade repurposed from the 2013 Temple of Whollyness.  Described as continuation of the Otic Oasis waystations from 2011 and 2012 which were the first art installations in the walkin camping area, The Otic Way satellites and shade provide space for contemplation, play, shelter, tranquility, shade, and comfort for appreciation of our natural surroundings. A wilderness outpost reachable by foot or bike and fluent in the language of geometry, 8 honeycomb stand-alone 8’x8’x14’ “Satellites” spread along an arc, are each private yet connected, and all assembled without the use of nails, glue or metal fasteners, providing private spaces in the desert stillness or gathering spots to view the panorama.
Participants at Lucidity saw variations of these structures there in the Family Garden where they were a popular play structure for young and old.
Here’s a list with links to the projects which are being funded by ticket sales; which are your favorites? After spending some time with this list, I see that I will be writing more about mine I promise you! Also watch for interviews with the artists and hopefully on playa video of interviews with the artists.
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