Applying for an Art Grant from Across the Globe

Aug 31, 2020 | Art, Grants, Kiwiburn, Volunteers

Photo credit: Elise Koncsek

How to fit your art project into a suitcase.

For this blog post, we thought it would be good to catch up with a Kiwiburn Art Grant recipient from overseas and find out more about her experience in visiting Kiwiburn for the first time and applying for a grant. Elise Koncsek (aka Devil Z) applied for and received a grant for her project “Reflect | Revolve | Repeat.” Read on to find out more about Elise, her project, challenges, and the KB Art Grant process.

“My first Burn was Burning Man in 2002 and I have attended about every other year since then. Since having kids, I have also been attending my local, Regional Burn (Critical Northwest) and I also attended Kiwiburn for the first time this past year.

I applied for the Kiwiburn Art Grant ahead of the 2020 Burn. You may have found my project hanging in the forest. Reflect | Revolve | Repeat was made of shimmering cubes hanging from trees and featured mirrors, colors, spinning, and secret code and hidden poetry. In the daytime it created reflections and at night it glowed.

The project was inspired by the feeling of being lost – but in a good way! My aim was to stimulate a feeling of curiosity, wonder, and hope. People followed the glowing cubes at night through the forest, spun them to change the color of light, explored the poetry, and followed their imagination.

This was my first time creating art for Kiwiburn and applying for the KB Arts Grant, but I have created Art at every Burn I have attended. Some of the things I have created or brought to other Burns have included a giant, steel climbing structure, a glow-in-the-dark spider web hammock, interactive message boards, and a glowing, puzzle tile path game.

I did experience some challenges with my Reflect | Revolve | Repeat installation. Notably, the air was warmer than I expected and melted some of my tape, so I had to do some reassembly during the event. I should have better heat tested my materials. This wasn’t even something I considered since I fabricated my art during the depths of winter on the other side of the planet!

Coming to the event from overseas with an art project took some special consideration. While I was designing my art, I was definitely more constrained than usual, as I had to take into consideration the size, weight, and fragility of the materials for transportation by air, as well as speed of assembly (since I didn’t want to spend my whole visit building the art). I framed my approach by designating a specific suitcase as ‘The Art Suitcase’ and the entire project had to fit in that suitcase.

I also wanted a high impact piece, so I opted for a solar-powered, cube-shaped artwork series which I built in my home country, disassembled for the journey, and reassembled on the Paddock. It was cumbersome to navigate around extra luggage while living with my partner and two kids in an old van for a month, but totally worthwhile. Bringing Art to Burns always improves my experience at the event!

Working with Town Planning was a breeze, they were easy-going and friendly as! If you are unfamiliar with the Paddock, make sure you check out lots of photos of the space. 

Understanding installation logistics helps shape design for a quicker setup process. Overall, I found the Kiwiburn Art Grant process to be rewarding, I couldn’t have afforded the materials I needed to make the art without the grant. Grants help me build art larger than my personal budget can provide.

I was inspired by other Art and Camps on the Paddock. I really liked the giant kaleidoscope, the Sensory Dispensary, and the tall hammock tree up the hill. Looking forward to contributing more in the future!”

The Kiwiburn Arts Committee is accepting grant applications until 6 September 2020. Apply for your art grant here!

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