On the surface, Burning Man is just a (admittedly sprawling) city in the middle of a desert, but it’s so much more. It’s a culture built on possibility by dreamers and doers. It’s a celebration of music and life. And, most of all, it’s a work of art built from the ground up.


The Smithsonian American Art Museum is officially recognizing Burning Man and its beautiful pieces of art including sculptures, costumes and jewelry, photography, and much more. The goal of the exhibit is to depict Burning Man as part of the American story. A true “creative laboratory” linked with maker culture, technology, and many of the most innovative minds in our country.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man is taking over Renwick Gallery now through January 21, 2019. Of course, the annual event is all about bringing people together and its exhibition is meant to do the same.

The Smithsonian’s Curator of Craft Nora Atkinson opens up about that concept: The title is part of that kind of idea, we’re inviting people to come in and, in some cases, they’ll be able to add to the artworks or interact with the art physically, which is not something people get the chance to do in a museum.

She also explains the importance behind the name: “No Spectators” is a long-standing saying on Playa. You are encouraged to fully participate. It’s all about being there, being fully present, and not just observing. Two of the ten principles of Burning Man are radical participation and radial inclusivity, meaning that there are no outsiders. Everyone is part of the experience.

This is literally the largest exhibition our museum has ever put on. It’s the entire building and the neighborhood combined… I really want people to feel empowered. Burning Man is all about building a society you want to live in and that’s what this exhibition is about.

The pieces of art chosen for the Burning Man exhibit will leave you in awe… Check out the video below and learn more here.

Burning Man at the Renwick Gallery