“Watch you guys are going to be one of those art cars that will come back and really blow our minds!”
As many of you remember, 2017 was filled with fundraising and hopeful wishes for Camp Cyberia’s first Art Car/Mutant Vehicle, Polaris. A Stewart and Stevenson, M1078 Military Chassis was purchased, fundraising efforts were had; our leadership reached out to local welders and believed we could bring the ideas we had crafted onto paper to life. Unfortunately the Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles took a long look (during the day) at Polaris, and determined that we were NOT fit for approval...then they took a quick look at our night-time look and denied us as well.
Our leadership team knew this was rare...it’s RARE to get denied. and this was not good for all the plans we’d made to play next to other large art installations and provide rides for the ARTERY tours. To say the least we were crushed...sad, a little embarrassed, discouraged...shall we go on?
But with all of that emotion, our Burn was still good and holy.
Upon leaving the playa our leadership was more motivated than ever to really bring Polaris back to Burning Man...after all one of the folks at the DMV said to us, upon denial, “Watch you guys are going to be one of those art cars that will come back and really blow our minds!” Well, he said something to that effect.
So we reached out to Matthew Shultz...the creator of the beautiful art installations: The Whale and Embrace...and many other amazing art works at Burning Man. Shultz is also the founder of the Generator, an inclusive art space where you can learn how to make art.
Jhana paid him a visit in the fall which led to the Polaris leadership team driving and flying to Reno this January to pay Shultz a visit in person.
The Polaris leadership team sat with Shultz for a little over two hours. And we toured the facility and found ourselves becoming inspired seeing other artists craft art works from recycled items, everyday kitchen stuff, and more!
What stood out the most was Matthew’s regard for his mother, who treated him and his art delicately. “The only difference between me and anyone else is that my mom didn’t question my art as a child...She encouraged me…” we heard Shultz remark.
All 8 of us, in an office on the second floor listened to Matthew share his feelings about where he’d love to see Mutant Vehicles go and the process required for creating art. He also expressed his amazement of the Great Elephant of Les Machines De L’ile in Nantes, France. Trust, there were oohs and ahhs! And in that same delicately kind way Matthew’s mother encouraged him as a child, it seemed, for us that he too bestowed upon us all a renewed sense in all of our capabilities to be artists during our conversation with him.
“Try it with paper, metal…” he began, inspiring us to literally build our own live models of the art car we wanted to bring to the playa. We asked, “What materials shall we use?” and he promptly provided us with affordable options that weren’t completely foreign, but so simple to access we felt instant gratitude to be in the presence of someone so knowledgeable.
To say the least, everyone was inspired to a great degree; we were renewed, and fueled with the knowledge of the merits of our own capabilities. YES! neural plasticity applies to crafting art too! (We all likely shouted in our heads).
So, what’s our next step? We are actively applying to be a part of the Generator to build Polaris. The Generator will house the 2018 Temple team, Galaxia and several artists and builders in the coming months.
What have we done since our meeting with Matthew? Well, we got to building our models...and in doing that Matthew’s magical way of getting us to find a way to believe in our own abilities has sparked a fire in us all...have a look! WE CAN DO THIS!
We are hopeful to be accepted into the Generator, to build Polaris together and bring our creation to the playa to share with all!