The MEGA CAKE’s journey to Burning Man is getting close to it’s fiery conclusion! Fresh off its successful test build at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, the 50′ tall sculpture has just been listed in Forbes Magazine as on of the “Best of the Best” to watch for in 2019.
From the article: MEGA CAKE is a large scale interactive sculpture of a 4-tier birthday cake that will serve as both a singular piece of art and a place to explore and discover art within. According to the artists, “We are a diverse group of misfits who came together due to a shared love of teamwork and crazy ideas. Each of us has a different combination of reasons for traveling to the Black Rock desert to spend a week laboring to bring a 50-foot wooden cake to life, only to watch it burn shortly thereafter.”
Architect Thom White of Norfolk’s WPA has designed a 12-sided wooden structure resembling a 4-tiered birthday cake. Art glass embellishments representing the animals of the Chinese zodiac and the constellations of the western zodiac will catch the light of the sun and sparkle like sugar in the distance. Plywood panels line each faceted tier and have perforations which recall cake icing embellishments while letting wind pass through. Flexible LED light strips are draped along the top of each level, adding to the icing motif. A propane-fueled “poofer” on the top-most tier will provide flame effects that will fire off at least once per hour at night.
“Our mission has evolved since work began over a year ago. At first, the Cake was thought of primarily as a place to gather, play, and observe Burning Man’s Black Rock City. Then, as the work progressed and construction began, we realized the piece is a singular work of art with vast potential for embedded meaning. MEGA CAKE facilitates a journey through the distinct moments that people encounter along the arc of one’s lifetime.”
Thank you to all of the artists and guest for a fantastic opening of TRANSFORMATION. The exhibition will be on display until May 24th at the WPA Gallery. The gallery is located in the historic Monticello Arcade at 208 E Plume Street, Norfolk, VA.
Tidewater Burners, the local Burning Man Regional Community, in partnership with WPA Gallery presents Transformation, an exhibition in celebration of change. As the Virginia Burner group experiences its own form of growth and transformation, we want to recognize the transformation happening in the lives of those around us and in the communities to which we belong. Transformation is a juried group exhibition featuring artists from across the country that explore a wide range of topics related to change, with each artist contributing independent and unique ideas based on personal experience.
The artworks included in the show address physical and emotional change, as it relates to the life cycle including the undeniable impact of birth and death. They address changes in our environment, both through perception and reality. They capture society’s impact on personal growth and the effect of technology on human development. All of the works on view originate from a personal perspective yet are relatable on a much larger scale. They convey an understanding and acceptance that transformation is unavoidable. Exhibited together here, they have the potential to raise awareness and help us better understand ourselves, our relationship with others, and our relationship with our environment.
WPA was hired by Smithfield Foods to study several options for expanding their current parking for the Corporate Campus. Smithfield Foods would like to give back to the Town by creating a wetlands boardwalk and nature trail that forms a connection from the existing docks at the Smithfield Corporate building up to Church Street. The boardwalk would be used as a teaching tool, educating visitors on the plant and animal life that exists in the wetlands, and enjoyed during the 4th of July and other holidays that bring the Smithfield community together on the water. WPA is currently working with the Town of Smithfield and Isle of Wight County, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Historic Resources to analyze all of the available options. Our consultants are: WPL (Surveying, Civil, and Landscape) WPL, Map Environmental (Environmental issues and agency submittals) Map Environmental, GET Solutions (Geotechnical Engineering) GET. Project is temporarily on hold until Smithfield Food merger is finalized.