Students in Professor Totem Shriver’s art class created and then set fire to a two-story sculpture in a spring transformation ritual. VIDEO
The burn is an annual event, and draws a large crowd of students and community members.
“For hundreds of years, humans have used fire for purification,” Shriver says. “Fire represents something primeval and mystical.”
Participants inscribe their burdens and hopes on prayer flags and slips of paper, which they feed to the flames. After the fire dies down, celebrators roast marshmallows over the flames.
Shriver is an accomplished wood carver who works from a studio in the Oregon Coast Range.
Interviewed in the video were students Joey Paysinger ’15, Mariah Torres ’14 and Rachel Lam ’14.