No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
October 12, 2019–February 23, 2020

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man has been extended by popular demand! The exhibition will now run through Sunday, February 23.

Marvel at the spectacular artwork and large-scale installations from one of the most widely-celebrated cultural events in the world when No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man takes over OMCA in Fall of 2019. Each year the weeklong Burning Man event attracts over 70,000 people to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Participants create and build Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis where experimental art installations—some ritually burned to the ground—are the centerpiece for innovators, makers, and a burgeoning artistic community. The exhibition will illuminate the values of Burning Man through its guiding Ten Principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy.

The immersive and multi-sensory experience will extend beyond the gallery walls into the Museum’s public spaces—including an OMCA-commissioned 40-foot-tall outdoor temple by internationally-acclaimed sculptor David Best. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, No Spectators will make its final stop at OMCA after traveling to the Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibition will feature many works by Bay Area artists including jewelry, costumes, “mutant” vehicles, sculptures, photography, and paintings. The companion exhibition within the gallery, City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man, organized by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, will trace Burning Man's origins from its countercultural roots in the San Francisco Bay Area to the world-famous desert gathering it is today. 

Don’t miss the West Coast debut of the first major museum exhibition of its kind and join in the celebration of Burning Man’s deep connections to California and the Bay Area.


Timed tickets are required for entry to the special exhibition, guaranteeing entrance to the exhibition at the time designated on the ticket. This ticket also permits you access to all other Museum galleries and exhibitions. We highly recommend buying your tickets online in advance; a limited number of same-day tickets will be available onsite at the Museum depending on capacity. You should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your entry time to redeem your timed ticket reservation. If your assigned time is 11 am, you may enter at 11 am when the Museum opens. Early entry is prohibited. Click here for information about timed ticketing for this exhibition.


Don't miss three outdoor artworks in conjunction with the No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibition: Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane and Temple of Reunion by David Best, both located on the Level 2 terrace; and Candy Chang's Before I Die installation, found in Oak Street Plaza on Level 1. All are free and accessible to the public during the Museum's operating hours. 


No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man is organized by the Nevada Museum of Art.

The museums especially thanks colleagues from the Burning Man Project, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, for their close collaboration and assistance throughout the preparation of this exhibit and tour.

Support for the Oakland presentation of this exhibition is provided by Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau and the Oakland Museum Women’s Board. Additional support is provided by Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman and Ruth and Roger Wu.

Lead support for the exhibition was provided by Intel and Bently Foundation. Support for the exhibition’s tour is provided by the C. F. Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia, and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund.