Since 1986, the Burning Man event has drawn tens of thousands of makers to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for a week of artmaking, community building, and radical self-expression. Artists create large-scale and interactive works, as well as portable and personal works of art for gifting and exchange. Playa Made: The Jewelry of Burning Man offers an up close look at the jewelry created for and during the festival.
Jewelry is an integral part of the Burning Man event and has many uses, including fostering personal connections. The creative and communal spirit, along with the symbols of Burning Man, are finely crafted into pressed glass coins, lakebed-clay charms, inlaid wood pendants, intricate necklaces, and other pieces of jewelry—all given freely during the festival without the expectation of compensation. This practice is in accordance with the second of Burning Man’s Ten Principles—Gifting.
Playa Made includes 200 pieces by over 60 artists. Featured works range from handmade pieces from professional jewelers, such as Thomas Mann and Kenn Kushner, to pieces designed by burners and manufactured commercially. The exhibition also features George Post’s photography of Black Rock City.
This exhibition is curated by Christine Kristen aka LadyBee and features her remarkable collection of jewelry that she collected at Burning Man over the past twenty five years. Playa Made is accompanied by the book The Jewelry of Burning Man by Christine Kristen, Karen Christians, and George Post.