Portland Filmmaker Joanna Priestley Is Bringing Multiple Burning Man-Inspired Projects to OMSI

The event will include two movie premieres and a digital image show titled “The Art of Burning Man.”

Portland filmmaker Joanna Priestley is bringing a swath of Burning Man-inspired creations to OMSI’s Empirical Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 18, including two new films and a digital image show.

“Burning Man has such a powerful impact on our culture and art,” said Melony Bearird, director of events at OMSI, in a statement. “To have a local artist bring the visual and creative splendor of the festival to us on the big screen is an honor and a thrill.”

The centerpiece of the event will be The Art of Burning Man, a live digital image show featuring sculptures, architecture, installations, and “mutant vehicles” made from 2002 to 2022.

Priestley is also presenting Fleeting Marvels, a new short film about Burning Man, and an animated short titled Jung & Restless. An audience question-and-answer session with Priestley and film crew members will follow.

When Priestley first attended Burning Man in 2002, the festival’s imagery immediately made an impact.

“I saw huge handcrafted buildings that looked like temples, gorgeous monumental metal sculptures with people climbing all over them, a gigantic shark driving around with a cocktail bar inside and a beautiful, illuminated white whale cruising across the desert at night,” Priestley remembered. “It was mind boggling!”

Priestley is hardly the only Portlander connected to Burning Man. After all, the Nevada-based festival was co-founded by Larry Harvey, who graduated from Parkrose High School in 1966 and attended Portland State University. Indeed, Burning Man-adjacent festivals and subcultures abound in Portland, especially around Colonel Summers Park.

Tickets to The Art of Burning Man are available here (adults $15, children ages 3−13 $5, seniors $12; OMSI members receive 15% off).

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