Experts and Insights at Sierra College Tahoe Truckee: The Temples of Burning Man | SierraSun.com
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Experts and Insights at Sierra College Tahoe Truckee: The Temples of Burning Man

Lori Van Meter
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TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Join Lori Van Meter at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 9 at Sierra College for an in depth look at the memorial temples of Burning Man. Van Meter will take the audience on a visual voyage of these elaborate, intricately designed pieces of architecture and expound on their significance and symbolism that brings so many people together.andamp;#8220;There are many descriptions of the Burning Man project, all of which seem true but incomplete: An art festival, a circus, a camp-out, a sociological experiment, a rave, a ritual, a Bacchanalia, druid puke Amid this enigmatic occurrence stands a temple, solemn and serious, dedicated to the memory of the deceased. Every year, thousands of people at Burning Man find a way to intertwine an unusual celebration of life with an unusual commemoration of death. This presentation examines the roots, traditions, and meaning behind the annual creation and destruction of the temples at Burning Man,andamp;#8221; said Van Meter.Lori Van Meterandamp;#8217;s interest in memorial art began with the sudden death of her husband in 2006. A resident of Donner Summit at that time, she was only vaguely familiar with the Burning Man project but became intrigued when a friend mentioned a memorial temple annually constructed and burned during the festival. Her experience at that temple became the inspiration for a Sierra College class assignment which has grown and evolved into the current presentation. The scope of this topic makes it interesting in many contexts, evidenced by the variety of situations in which it has been offered. Van Meter was honored to first present it at Oxford University, where the written version was published as a chapter in the e-book andamp;#8220;Mortality, Dying, and Death.andamp;#8221; In contrast to that academic setting, the presentation was received equally well at a pub in London, England, where corporate staff of the Burning Man project were on hand to verify and augment the factual content. The presentation was made again at Bowling Green State University, during the 12th annual Conference on Holidays, Ritual, Festival, Celebration and Public Display. In Monterey, Van Meter was the featured speaker at an assembly of bereavement groups, and subsequently developed a popular workshop specifically for Dia de los Muertos. Dr. Kim Bateman, Dean of Sierra College Truckee, recommended Van Meter as a speaker at Experts andamp; Insights, a community-based lecture/discussion program in the Sierra College Deanandamp;#8217;s Lecture Series where each month, a different topic is examined from an academic viewpoint. andamp;#8220;I had the benefit of seeing an early version of Lori Van Meterandamp;#8217;s presentation in one of my classes a few years ago. The photographic journey along with her research, perception and personal experience gave the audience an opportunity to fully connect with the meaning and emotion behind the memorial art,andamp;#8221; said Bateman.There is no charge for Experts andamp; Insights, thanks to the generosity of the presenters and Sierra College, but reservations are advised at 550-2290 as space is limited. Upcoming presentations include Dr. Kim Bateman on andamp;#8220;Mythical Guide to GriefWorkandamp;#8221; Aug. 13 and Dr. Nan Carnal on andamp;#8220;Photosynthesis: How Plants Do It and Important Consequencesandamp;#8221; Sept. 10. Full calendar: http://sierracollege.edu/AboutUs/campuses/tt/lecture-calendar.html.

Lori Van Meter, Memorial Art SpecialistFriday, July 9, 7:30 p.m.Sierra College, TruckeeNo chargeReservations at 550-2290


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