Media Advisory - Press Preview for “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” and “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick”

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Courtney Rothbard
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Press preview for the exhibitions “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” and “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick


Thursday, March 29

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

: 10 a.m.

Remarks: 10:30 a.m.

Walking tour of outdoor installation: 11:45 a.m.


Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.


Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Kim Cook, Director of Art & Civic Engagement, Burning Man Project

Leona Agouridis, Executive Director, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District

Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 70,000 people rises out of the dust for a single week. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground. The thriving temporary metropolis known as Burning Man is a hotbed of artistic ingenuity, driving innovation through its principles of radical self-expression, decommodification, communal participation and reverence for the handmade. Both a cultural movement and an annual event, Burning Man remains one of the most influential phenomenons in contemporary American art and culture.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man transports the large-scale work from this desert gathering to the nation’s capital for the first time. The exhibition takes over the entire Renwick Gallery building, bringing alive the maker culture and creative spirit of Burning Man through immersive room-sized installations, costumes, jewelry and ephemera. “ No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick” extends the exhibition beyond the museum’s walls, displaying sculptures from Burning Man throughout the surrounding neighborhood in partnership with Washington’s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID).

Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, organized the exhibition in collaboration with the Burning Man Project, the nonprofit organization responsible for producing the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City.

Interested media should RSVP to Photographers and film crews are welcome; contact the office in advance to make arrangements. Find additional press materials at

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About the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. Its artworks reveal America’s rich artistic and cultural history from the colonial period to today. The museum’s main building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Its Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft and decorative arts, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. The Renwick is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

Press Images

  • Press - No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

    Press - No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

    FoldHaus, Shrumen Lumen, 2016. Photo by Rene Smith.