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A Tribe of Artists: Costumes and Culture at Burning Man


Exhibit Closing Reception & Artist Talk Tonight


Lady Bee, Photo by Geoffrey Nelson

Carson City, Nev.

For the past 20 years, during the week prior to Labor Day, Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is transformed into the celebrated the Burning Man Art Festival and its temporary community. The Nevada Arts Council presents an exhibition of 14 life-sized photographs and three mannequins documenting day and nighttime Burning Man costumes.

For the past five years, exhibit artist, Geoffrey Nelson has set out to document the most creative and unusual of these costumes that he encounters during the festival. A Tribe of Artists: Costumes and Culture at Burning Man is on display at the OXS Gallery at 716 North Carson Street, Suite A, Carson City. The artist talk and closing reception will be held in the OXS gallery on Wednesday, March 3 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. No public funds are used to host the reception.

Drawing over 50,000 participants from around the world, the Burning Man Festival is known for its fire, sculptures, theme camps, and its unusually attired participants. The photos are primarily shot in a portable, tent-like photographic studio that he transports and constructs on the playa where Burning Man takes place. Dealing with overwhelming dust storms, heat, and extremely loud art cars, Nelson has photographed over 200 participants since he started the project in 2005. From these photos emerged this unconventional show, A Tribe of Artists: Costumes and Culture at Burning Man.

Nelson has been a professional photographer for over thirty years having started his career in the Bay Area. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and has widely exhibited throughout the United States. Nelson has published a number of books, including “Les Anges Nus” in 2000 that deals with illuminating images of mythical creatures. He has been going to Burning Man for ten years and started his own theme camp, “Mohammed’s Mini Martini and Erotica Camp,” six years ago where he constructs and deconstructs his temporary photo booth every year.

This exhibit was organized by the Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. A Tribe of Artists: Costumes and Culture at Burning Man is part of the Nevada Touring Initiative – Traveling Exhibition Program and is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nevada State Legislature.

The Nevada Arts Council was founded in 1967 as a state agency charged with developing and promoting the arts in Nevada. Statewide programs include Artist Services, Arts in Education, Community Arts Development, Folklife and Grants. The Arts Council supports the work of Nevada artists, arts organizations and institutions and is funded by the Nevada State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and other public and private sources.

The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, preservation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the Division of Museums and History, State Historic Preservation Office, State Library and Archives. For more information, visit the department’s website at www.NevadaCulture.org.

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