MÚCARO

Submitted by NiNo Alicea

1+

Client: Burning Man

Location: Black Rock City, NV, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $120,000

Project Team

Artist

NiNo Alicea

Leave It To NiNo

Event

Burning Man

Overview

A 32 ft tall wise and woody owl art installation representing Puerto Rico at Burning Man. Participants climbed up into its head via spiral stairways that were adorned with images of childhood school memories. Once at the head, participants had a sweeping view of the playa through MÚCARO’s giant eyes and move its head as it rotates 360º. First Puerto Rican to ever receive the Honoraria Art Grant from the Burning Man Project.

Goals

We are building a new version of the MÚCARO to Puerto Rico. MÚCARO at Burning Man was a joy. From the interior school room character with books, photos and classroom memorabilia, to the rotating head with a 360º view, participants left moved and inspired with memories of their own childhood education and creative dreams. Perhaps this was our MÚCARO's purpose all along.

For Puerto Rico, we would like to bring as much of this experience as possible through our new pavilion with an emphasis on healing and transformation through creativity and community.

The Puerto Rican community will make this art piece radically participatory on multiple levels, by helping us decorate the inside, to make it more personal with a character that encourages visitors to be transported again to have a sense of adventure. To provide a space of relief from all the challenges they are going through. To make MÚCARO a safe place to exhale and be allowed to explore and play again.

Process

Our hope is to inspire fellow aspiring artists to work on the piece on the island, to believe in and manifest their true bliss no matter the circumstances and challenges they are going through after the hurricane. We are dedicating MÚCARO to teachers everywhere, especially the ones in Puerto Rico. Their persistence and resilient attitude is truly inspiring.

Since this project is also about bringing the people of Puerto Rico together, we have few organizations ALREADY ON BOARD to provide their support on this wonderful project and help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico: Ricky Martin Foundation, RS Events For Life, 2K Foundations, Foundation For Puerto Rico, Ranger Contigo, Burner Without Borders to name a few.

Our goal is to invite everyone in the community, including local artists, teachers, youth and children to participate in its construction. This will not only provide work for locals, but create a community that is committed to bring inspiration and healing for others. When we work together on a goal that is bigger than ourselves, that is magic.

Additional Information

The múcaro only lives in Puerto Rico, the island where the artist was born and raised. And his island STILL is in a state of humanitarian relief after the hurricanes from 2017 and then the earthquakes in 2020. Our BM 2017 owl was such a successful and well received art installation, we are proposing a new 22 ft tall version of our magical owl. This time, the exterior will be about repurposing trash in the island. This space will be used to educate the community on subjects such as sustainability, and spark creativity for all ages. A look at the interior of the piece can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84rhDapmj3s&t=36s "The real purpose of MÚCARO for Puerto Rico's art education is not necessarily to only create more professional artists, it is to create an opportunity to inspire more Puerto Ricans to be critical thinkers, to keep their minds curious and to continue aspiring to have productive lives." -NiNo