Written by Chris Galli, Dickson Realty
As the gateway to Black Rock City, there is an abundance of Burning Man Art in Reno and the surrounding areas to see. You can experience a piece of the playa all year long—if you know where to look.
Burning Man Art in Reno: Large Sculptures
In the heart of downtown, you can find two large pieces of Burning Man art in Reno: Space Whale and BELIEVE.
The colorful Space Whale came to Reno after being at Burning Man in 2016. Made of steel lattice and hand-painted stained glass, the piece depicts a mother humpback whale and her calf. Check out the whale at different times to see how the sun catches the glass during the day, or how it looks lit up at night.
BELIEVE is one of the most iconic pieces of Burning Man art in Reno. Each letter stands 12 feet high and 4 feet thick and is imprinted with hundreds of bird cutouts. BELIEVE first appeared at Burning Man in 2013 and the city of Reno purchased the sculpture in 2016.
Guardian of Eden, a piece of Burning Man art in Reno, greets you at the entrance of the Nevada Museum of Art. This flowering sculpture appeared at Burning Man in 2007 when the event’s theme was “The Green Man.”
Hanging at the entrance of the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum is another piece of Burning Man art in Reno—a 50 ft., life-size model of Nevada’s state fossil, the Ichthyosaurus. It appeared at Burning Man in 2013.
A little piece of Burning Man is located right in downtown Reno at the Playa Art Park. This free public art installation features a rotating display of artwork that was previously displayed on the playa.
That metal butterfly rotating in the wind near First and Ralston streets in downtown Reno is the Portal of Evolution. Created by artist Bryan Tedrick, this piece appeared on the playa in 2009.
Take a break from shopping in South Reno to appreciate the Reno Star Cosmic Thistle, a 46-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide, white thistle sculpture inspired by the Great Basin’s high desert plants. The Reno Star Cosmic Thistle debuted at Burning Man in 2012 and is made from salvaged steel from the city of Reno.
Burning Man Art in Reno: Reno Playa Art Trail
To see many more pieces of Burning Man art in Reno, take yourself on a tour of the Reno Playa Art Trail. This website curates photos and information about almost all of the region’s Burning Man art and has a handy map that you can use to plan your route.
Burning Man Art in Reno: The Generator
The Generator is an inclusive art, maker and community space where many of the art pieces for Burning Man are created. Since 2013 there have been more than 60 large projects built at The Generator including Embrace, The Pier, The Ship, The Space Whale, Inside the Mind of DaVinci, Silicone Meadows, Temple of Mazu, The Life Cube, Library of Babel, Luz 2.0, Micro, The Crystal Medina Theme Camp, Above the Limit, The Oracle and many, many more. Check out their website to find out what projects are currently in the works and ways to make your own art.
Whether you made it to the playa this year or plan to in the future, you can experience a little bit of Burning Man art in Reno year-round by checking out these pieces.