Denver artist Marie Vlasic is no Shrinking Marie, and it shows in her striking work: full frontal, super-real portraits that don't shy away from anything, make your jaw drop and sing the body electric. That considered, Vlasic is also an aficionado of the Burning Man experience and thinks everyone should make the late-summer pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada at least once in their lives, to participate in that great communal survival/happening out in the middle of nowhere. And now, she'd like to bring a piece of it back to share.
"Everybody's out there, and they have this freedom about them that you see nowhere else," she explains. "And as a figurative artist, I'm desperate to catch that. So I'm packing up my photo gear and a makeshift photo booth and trekking out there to take pictures on site. When I get back, I'll start on painting a series for a future show at Walker Fine Art." That's the basis of Welcome Home, a Burning Man Portrait Project, her proposal's official title, and of course it's going to cost something to pull off. To raise the cash she'll need to buy and haul all her equipment off into the desert, Vlasic invites the public to Exposure: Faces of the Desert, a celebration and fundraiser tonight at 2200, which she fully expects to be amazing.
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"I hope to give people a taste of Burning Man at the event," Vlasic adds. That will come in the form of a Burning Man slide show and a taste of Burning Man culture, to boot, represented by everything from aerial dancers and food by Dan Landes of Watercourse to local art for auction and an across-the-board crowd. "I'm expecting a crossover," she notes. "Half will be an artsy crowd, and I also expect a lot of the Denver Burn community to come out for the dancing and being crazy part. The feedback has been awesome."