We Burn: Chicago Burning Man Art

Monster Wheel Grand Prix


Monster Wheel Grand Prix and Chiditarod shopping carts are just two of the works featured in an upcoming exhibition called “We Burn: Chicago Burning Man Art.” The multi-media gallery show opens at the Flat Iron Building (1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL) on April 1st, coinciding with First Friday in that arts district. The opening will be from 6pm to 10pm, and a closing party will be held during the same hours on April 16th.

“Burning Man is more than an event.  It is fast becoming a forum and a form of expression.  Chicago burners know how to surprise people,” said Elysia Lock, curator of the show.

"Living Brushstroke" by Maria Scileppi


Monster Wheel Grand Prix is modeled on the Big Wheel toys popular 20 years ago among kids who have since grown up to be artists.  The works on display are destined to become working race bikes at festivals and events around the country.

Chiditarod shopping carts have already run their races.  They are highly modified shopping carts used in the annual race that overruns Bucktown and Wicker Park on the first Saturday of every March.  Coinciding with the Alaskan Iditarod, costumed teams of five “mush” their ways through streets, stopping at checkpoints (bars) and filling their carts with food for the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation.

Other Burning Man artist works will include photography, sculpture, video, works on paper, paintings, mixed media, installations, and performances.  Burners are known for interactive art and for challenging the expectations of art enthusiasts.

Burning Man photo by Eric Becker

Burning Man is an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, drawing 50,000 artists into a harsh environment for a week of “radical self expression.” Chicago’s Burning Man Community numbers in the hundreds, and is known for high profile public art and events. “We’ve got everything but the dust,” said Burning Man Regional Contact Christopher Breedlove.


Other artists include Marci Rubin, Zac Franzoni, Maria Scileppi, Phillip Solomonson, Nichelle Lawrence, Gabriel Garcia-Fraire, Pat Hilander, and Jeff Austin.