The Hermitage Museum and Alchemy NFK


On the other side of the oyster reef, just off the Museum’s shoreline


20’ tall x 20’ wide

Completion Date

October 2017


The Hermitage Museum closed their incredible five-month-long Art of Burning Man exhibition in October 2017. WPA’s Beth and Thom got involved with the show early on — volunteering to help with art installation and then organizing a bike ride from Smartmouth Brewing Company to the museum along the Elizabeth River Trail later in the summer. In late August, just as they were preparing to depart for dusty Black Rock City, an early fantasy became reality and the concept of a barge burn for the closing party was given the green light. A super FUN crew of local makers, artists, and burners quickly rallied to produce Thom’s design for a large wooden sculpture of a diving mermaid’s tail on a 60’ long floating concrete dock, which was then sent down the Elizabeth River toward the Museum. It was set alight the next night as a fitting tribute to the amazing artists and the community spirit fostered by the show. Special thanks to Cristina Fletcher, the City of Norfolk, 757 Makerspace, Lynch Mykins, Norfolk Tug Company, and so many others for their contributions in making it happen. Photos by Yuzhu Zheng.