Playa Made

Playa Made

The Jewelry of Burning Man

The Jewelry of Burning Man

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 event.

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 event 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, a.k.a. LadyBee, and originated at the Fuller Craft Museum. It features the remarkable collection of jewelry that LadyBee has collected at Burning Man over the past twenty five years and is accompanied by the book The Jewelry of Burning Man by Christine Kristen, Karen Christians, and George Post.

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Exhibition Credit

Playa Made: The Jewelry of Burning Man was originally curated by Christine Kristen, a.k.a. LadyBee, for the Fuller Craft Museum. The local presentation is curated by Bellevue Arts Museum. Supported in part by Burning Man Project, a nonprofit public benefit corporation. Media sponsor: KCTS 9.  In-kind support from Seattle SignShop. 

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