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Andrew Johnstone


Trompe L'oeil Murals and Burning Man Base


It takes a full year to design and plan the structure for "the Man" at Burning Man. Using computers and working with a crew that expands to over a hundred artists we follow the path of the lead designer as he takes the theme of "Radical Ritual" and tries to make the indescribable... unforgettable. It is an exercise in cooperation, artistic vision, responsibility and hard work that is a strong paradigm for any young artist or engineer that wants to work on large scale projects.

Meet the Speaker:

Andrew Johnstone is an artist, muralist, 3D computer designer and enthusiastic geomapper. Since 2005, Andrew helped design the centerpiece of the Burning Man Festival, and was named Design Steward of The Man in 2011. Following a classical European education in the arts, Johnstone became the apprentice and protégé of William Holgate (1931-2002), the worlds finest master of the decorative arts in the last 150 years, working on cathedrals, Royal Palaces and international architectural treasures. His clients recently have included The Smithsonian, Chabot Space and Science Center, Stanford Medical Center and NASA. As a teacher at University of California, Berkeley he lectured in and wrote the curriculum for the course, “Mural and Decorative Arts” and continues his calling to pass along his knowledge with the Architectural Arts Guild.

In 2009 Andrew was nominated for and became one of the Newzonia 500 ambassadors, a group of artists, scientists, and Nobel laureates working on global and sustainable solutions for a world in crisis.

Since 2005 he worked with the legendary architect/artist Rod Garrett on designing of ”The Man,” the centerpiece of the Burning Man festival, the world’s largest art event held every year in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Andrew continued after Rod’s passing in August 2011 and was given the title of “Design Steward of the Man” by Burning Man.

In October 2011 he was honored by winning the Alameda County 2011 Arts Leadership Award and was subsequently appointed by the Supervisors to a four year term as a Board member on the Alameda County Arts Commission representing District 4. He also holds a position on the Board of the Alameda County Arts Education Committee.

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