It was only a matter of time before Cory Mervis, organizer of last year’s Downtown Halloween parade, moved onto her next project. It’s in the blood of the event promoter and Burning Man regular, who’s now in charge of a 20-foot wooden showgirl under construction in the Arts District’s (sculpture-less) Boulder Plaza Sculpture Park.
“Welcome Burners,” Mervis says to a group of creatively dressed bicyclists rolling into the plaza on First Friday for Phase 1 of the building project for “Luck Lady Lucy!” The city-sponsored sculpture, to be decked with casino chips and playing cards, will be one of 24 effigies presented and burned in Black Rock City as part of the Burning Man’s Circle of Regional Effigies Project.
But Northern Nevada’s annual gathering—August 29-September 5—won’t have all the fun. “Lucky Lady Lucy!” will have a twin, another showgirl to be displayed in the community before she is, well, burned here in the spring.
Mervis says there are about 1,000 Burners in Las Vegas, but that anyone (Burner or not) is welcome to help build the effigy. Another community building session will take place at June’s First Friday event.
“We’re making the default world like Burning Man,” says Mervis, a former New Yorker who arranged last year’s Halloween parade shortly after arriving.
It also means that the work of Las Vegas artist Anthony Bondi, who’s been hauling his interactive sculptures to Black Rock Desert for years, will now have some Vegas-created company at Burning Man.