Ursa Mater - Mamma Penny Bear Burning Man 2017

Ursa Mater at Burning Man 2017

Ursa Mater at Burning Man 2017

 A Mother's Love from Desert to Lake Tahoe

Ursa Mater, affectionately known to the citizens of Black Rock City (Burning Man) as Mamma Penny Bear is a sequential installation to our Ursa Mater sculpture from 2016. This bear returned with her cubs. 

Third in our series of penny sculptures, this piece has the most coins we have ever placed to create the effect of a fur coat. This one has over 200,000 pennies. Ursa Mater was carved from foam and layered in a concrete stucco with the pennies placed in the wet stucco vertically, it took us and our 12 person art team, 4 months to complete. 

Ursa Mater was made possible by an honorarium by Burning Man Arts whom we are so very happy to thank. Hundreds of dollars in pennies were donated to the project by friends and volunteers and we thank them too. 

After Burning Man, Ursa Mater was displayed at Burning Man's Autumnal fundraiser in Alameda, CA. In March of 2018, Ursa Mater was displayed in downtown San Jose thanks to a joint effort of the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project. Following that lively showing, Ursa Mater was moved to Tahoe City, CA to the center of town over-looking Lake Tahoe. This courtesy of the efforts of Tahoe Public Art. The town and region took a shine to these bears and wanted to keep her which brought on a community funding drive to keep Ursa Mater. In June 2019, the effort was completed thanks to the local supporters. Ursa Mater is on permanent display on her mound at Heritage Plaza in what many in the town tell us is a ‘great fit’ for Tahoe.

Our Ursa Mater Film

Click on the image to see how Ursa Mater travelled from Burning Man to Lake Tahoe. Included is a story of a mother’s love written and narrated by our friend Kerrie Penney.