2020-2021 Effigy, Temple, and Big Money art grant winners!

CATS and the artists we fund ramp up our work in January before each year’s event. So by the time things locked down we had already reviewed, voted on and signed contracts with our first round of artists. We have an effigy, we have a temple, and we have a full slate of Big Money art projects we’re granting — and we’re funding all of them and carrying them forward to next year’s event. Every artist has agreed to attend a 2021 event.

We can’t say for sure what next year’s event will bring, but as of now we’re planning to do a Seed Round (<$1200) and cash-for-gas round in Jan/Feb 2021.

And don’t forget, yes we are still accepting applications for the At-Home Stimulus Round.

Without further delay CATS presents this year’s Big Money Grant winners!

Big Money Grant Winners

The Temple of the Four Quarters - $3,500 (Temple)

Artists: Wonderlux Art Collective, Minneapolis MN

The temple is based on the loose idea of four seasons, four elements, four directions all being unified in the center. It will play with the idea of "quarters" as 1/4, but also "quarters" as in abode or house or home base. Most spiritual traditions have some idea of fourths, and what lives in those quarters. We will be working with our own personal associations rather than any particular tradition, but each direction will have different imagery, colors, materials, and altars as you approach. In the center there will be a glowing chapel on an elevated platform that can be ascended from all four directions. We will be using fabric, laser-cut wood, architectural elements and lighting to create spaces suitable for reflection, grieving, ceremony, meditation, etc.

We are a team of artists that have successfully built multiple interactive art pieces for regional burn and have been part of larger groups that have built things in Black Rock City. We enjoy exploring combining the realm of the digital and the organic and making playful magical objects or installations that can instill a sense of wonder. Last year, we built the Temple for our home burn in Minnesota and very much enjoyed creating that space, and are greatly looking forward to building our second Temple at Apo (which is one of our favorite non-home regionals!)

Fire Sculpture Garden and the Tree of Life - $4,725 (Effigy)

Artists: Musselph, LTD

Fire Sculpture Garden will return for its second Apogaea offering, featuring Perfect Heart, Strictly Platonic, Paphiopendulum, additional environmental flame effects by Musselph Ltd., a brand new feature piece to be debuted at Apogaea, and several other new and classic pieces sourced from the Colorado fire artist community. Fire Sculpture Garden will again incorporate fire, music, and metal sculpture in the creation of an ephemeral interactive sacred space for inspiration, catharsis, connection, movement, and stillness.

New for 2020, the Tree of Life is a sculptural interpretation of a deeply cherished symbol of connection to self and others, expression as an individual, growth and rebirth, and the immortality of being rooted in past, present, and future. The Tree of Life invites participants to rest under its branches and find whatever respite they are seeking in the fiery shade of its leaves. The Tree of Life will also be the focal point of an effigy ceremony integrating the intentions and messages given to it from the community, and the burnt offering we create under its boughs will serve to cleanse and prepare us for the new growth ahead.


1 Million Points of Light - $2999.99

Artist: Mike Lustig

One Million Points of Light ("1MM") will be a vibrating fiber optic sculpture comprised of 1,000,000 fiber optic strands arranged within a large rectangular frame, illuminated with 1,000 RGB LEDs, elevated to eye-height. 1MM will allow people to knowingly view 1,000,000 moving, distinct physical objects. The strands will move with wind, touch, and motorization. There will be three vibrating motors on the sides and top of the frame that will "kineticize" the strands. The effect is similar to a million fireworks streaking and exploding in every millisecond. There will be a podium about 10 feet in front of the object, with dimmer dials allowing participants to control the relative vibration of each motor and a knob-switch to change patterns of the light. The operation will be intuitive for anyone. By changing the relative vibratory oscillation of each motor, interference patterns will emerge, creating an ever-shifting wash of color and movement. Standing in close proximity of the object will offer participants a chance to be tickled simultaneously by a million objects. My hope for this project is to condense the sensation of witnessing a field of tall grass waving in the wind, or a tree of quaking leaves.


Flaming Giraffe - $2,790

Artist: Mitch 'Giraffe' Hoffman

A life sized scrap steel giraffe with flame effects. Inspired by the paintings of Salvador Dali.


Climy Slimeby - $2,650

Artist: Timb Omspach, Adam Chiszar, and "Tuff" Mitch Kraemer

A climbable steel cube of slime


"Scared Geometry" - The Tesseract of Fire - $2,500

Artists: Aaron Wilson, Apollo Colorado Ltd.

Building on the theme of the first Tesseract which made its debut at Apogaea in 2019, "Scared Geometry" will be a spinning, shining, blinking, blasting, poofing, tooting, contraption. It is a cube balanced on its corner that turns powered only by gas pressure atop an LED Zonohedral dome.


Sk8 Kamp Fire Coping - $1,666.69

Artist: Sk8 Kamp, Inc.

Sk8 Kamp Fire Coping is an interactive art piece for Apogaeans working their way to the top of Sk8 Kamp's mini-ramp. This flaming art piece doubles as grindable coping, with specially slotted and bored sections to allow flames under the skater as they pass over. Participants are encouraged to grind and slash through the fire after they progress on the ramp during daily skate lessons.

Bad Juju - $1,650

Artist: Bones and Ranch

Bad Juju is a prehistoric alligator dug from the depths by the roots of an ancient tree spirit to protect her land from invaders. Come take a ride into the dark inside the belly of this monstrous adjudicator of the natural balance.

Far Out - $1,600

Artist: Jeff & Diana Merkel

Far Out is an interactive and immersive audio and light installation where visitors twist knobs and push buttons to create a weird and trippy experience!