Like everything else this year, Burning Man was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. Apart from the obvious shame of not being able to attend, many artists will not have a chance to showcase their unique pieces to tens of thousands of people.
Thankfully, a new complex called Area15 that just opened up in the Las Vegas desert promises to give a permanent home to some of Burning Man’s most interesting and beloved art pieces.
“I love Las Vegas—the lights and the glitz. We knew that we couldn’t even try to do something that could outdo the casinos,” the complex’s founder Michael Beneville, a 10-year Burning Man veteran, told Artnet News during a Zoom tour of the venue. “I like to say Area15 wasn’t designed by creative people. It was designed by some bunker-building agency, and then the inmates have taken over inside, because that’s where all the creative activity happens.”
The space is 52,000 square feet, plenty of space for sculptures and art of all shapes and sizes, from a flame-breathing, water-spouting dragon set against the endless desert skies (Ivan McLean’s El Scorcho) to a 23-foot-tall Japanese maple tree by Symmetry Labs outfitted with 5,000 individual LED lights.
Area15 is on track to open in early 2021.