A couple of months ago we attempted to go to the Renwick Gallery only to learn upon our arrival that it was closed for awhile in preparation for an upcoming exhibition. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but figured if they were closing the entire museum, then it had to be something substantial — and really good.
Indeed, it is both. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man brings a piece (or, make that pieces, and big ones!) of the annual Black Rock Desert event to DC in the form of large-scale installations, several of them taking up whole galleries in the museum. The works range from sculptures to immersive installations to jewelry to costumes. And they are beautiful, evocative, solemn, and kooky, kind of how I imagine Burning Man to be.
This is an exhibit that appeals to all ages. Kids will love seeing giant mushrooms illuminated in rainbow colors, walking inside a glowing geometric figure, and checking out the muffin tin parts of a dragon constructed from recycled items. Adults will appreciate all of that and more just as much.
The full No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibition will be at the Renwick through September 16, 2018. After that, only the second floor will be on display through January 21, 2019. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free. You can also see sculptures from Burning Man showcased throughout the surrounding neighborhood through December 2018.
Here’s a glimpse of the exhibit, but in person is, of course, always better.