Finding Our Bliss at Treasure Island, California

I took a day trip this week to Treasure Island, California with a friend, primarily to take in this famed sculpture by Marco Cochrane, known as Bliss Dance.

Bliss Dance seems to hold the sun in her hands. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Bliss Dance is a 40 foot sculpture, originally unveiled at Burning Man 2010. Some said it couldn’t be done. (If you’re not familiar with Burning Man, an annual event and pop-up city held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Which is the most boring way possible to describe it. I have never had the pleasure of attending.) Needless to say, the logistics of creating, hauling and installing such a piece are overwhelming.

Bliss Dance on Treasure Island. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

The statue is now permanently installed on Treasure Island, in front of a sad, abandoned building and a  parking lot littered with signs saying, “No stopping, no parking.” Locals say development of the property is set to begin in 2015, but in the meantime, Bliss dances as if no one is watching. Sadly, for now, few are.

After visiting Bliss Dance, we decided to try some local wines at The Winery, just down the road. Tastings of wines are available for a modest fee. Glitter, The Winery’s sparkling wine choice, was my personal favorite.

Delicious Glitter. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Sampling wine at The Winery on Treasure Island, California.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

No need to feel intimidated at this wine tasting room, even if you’re wholly unfamiliar with wine. The atmosphere was relaxed and without pretense. Workers were not only knowledgeable about the wines, but passionate about them too. Overall, The Winery seems dedicated to providing solid wine choices with a sense of humor; most labels give a nod to the spirit of San Francisco.

While sipping, The Winery staff told us Marco Cochrane’s studio was in the very same building.

The Winery’s tasting room. Charish Badzinski.

Feeling happy and brave after closing The Winery’s tasting room, we ventured to the other side of the building to see whether we could peek into Mr. Cochrane’s studio. The door was open, and my friend, a true fan, was thrilled to find the artist at work, inside.

Sculptures in Marco Cochrane’s studio. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

We wandered about, peeking at works in progress and finished pieces.

Marco Cochrane’s studio on Treasure Island, California.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

At last, the artist spoke with us for a few moments. Though my friend approached the situation with great restraint, it was a big deal for her. She’s a Burner–a regular at Burning Man–and Bliss Dance is her favorite sculpture. The opportunity to not only see Bliss Dance again, outside of The Playa, but also meet the artist himself, was huge.

A sculpture captures the late day light streaming in through the doorway of
Marco Cochrane’s studio. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Mr. Cochrane then revealed his latest work to us, a sculpture commissioned for this year’s Burning Man. It’s nothing like Bliss Dance, yet Burners will certainly be thrilled when they see it. For now, we’ll preserve the relative mystery for the grand unveiling on The Playa in August.

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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
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Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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