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Airigami Begins Balloon Manor

Monday, January 27, 2014 2:00 AM


For Immediate Release:  January 27, 2014

Media Contact: Sally Cohen, sally@sallycohenpr.com, 585-749-1795, @PR4Arts

Airigami info: airigami.com, facebook.com/airigami, twitter.com/airigami, youtube.com/larrycmoss



The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk grows in Rochester, NY

Feb. 1-9

Five-story sculpture will be built by 75 international artists using

50,000 balloons


Rochester, NY - Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle of Airigami ("the fine art of folding air") will begin building their long-anticipated follow-up to four previous Balloon Manors (2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008) this coming Saturday, February 1, at 10 a.m. in Rochester's historic, downtown Sibley Building atrium (228 East Main Street, 14604).


Balloon Manor 2014: The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk will include a ground-floor garden - where Jack planted his magic beans - and a four-story beanstalk, which visitors can "climb" via the atrium escalator. A castle in the clouds, complete with giant, will live on the fifth floor of the Sibley atrium.  Moss estimates that it will take their crew of 75 people four days and 50,000 balloons to create.


"Like our other Balloon Manors, this one will be built by a crew of international artists, from as far away as Russia, Singapore, Australia and Spain," explains Moss, who has been world-renowned for his large-scale, community projects for 15 years. Some of those artists will also attend the annual Twist & Shout convention, which will be held in Rochester at the Radisson Riverside Hotel for the first time since Moss helped to found it 14 years ago; others will travel here solely to work with Airigami.


While former Balloon Manors, which took place at a variety of suburban malls, all had a haunted house theme that coincided with Halloween, this one is inspired by a fairy tale image from Airigami's Once Upon a Time series, and will be built February 1-4, 2014, with the completed installation on view February 5-9. Unlike previous Manors, which charged admission and donated more than $80,000 in total to local charities, both the building process and the completed Manor will be free and open to the public for viewing.  


Hours for viewing the Manor will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during both the building process (Feb. 1-4) as well as for the completed Manor. (Feb. 5-9). Parking is available at the Mortimer Street and St. Joseph's Garages. Additionally, Young Audiences of Rochester will provide free performances and family-oriented activities featuring their teaching artists in the Sibley atrium February 5-9. A complete activity schedule is available at balloonmanor.com, as is parking and other information.


Finally, the Manor will go out with a bang on Monday, February 10 at 5:30 p.m. with a Popping Party. In addition to balloon-popping fun, there will be refreshments (including ‘pop'corn and soda ‘pop'), entertainment, hands-on balloon activities, "magic beans," and prize coupons hidden within balloons, including a grand prize of a custom Airigami fine art piece. Tickets are $10 and available at balloonmanor.com.


Airigami's attention-grabbing, jaw-dropping work was one reason that Winn Development offered to host Balloon Manor 2014 in the Sibley Building.


"With balloons, Airigami's artists are able to capture the imagination of children and adults of all ages," says Winn Development Vice President Joseph Eddy. "There's no better place to experience this in downtown Rochester than the Sibley Building. It will also be an opportunity for the community to see firsthand the new improvements we've made to this historic building."


At a January press conference announcing the event, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation President Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Visit Rochester VP of Communications and Community Relations Patti Donoghue, and Rochester City Council VP Dana Miller all spoke in support of the downtown event, citing both the economic impact from the convention - expected to attract more than 200 attendees - and the uniqueness of the five-story public art installation, which is expected to draw between 8-10,000 visitors as previous Manors have done. Discovery Channel Canada will cover the event as well.



Balloon Manor 2014 is sponsored by Qualatex Balloons, Rochester Radisson Riverside Hotel, The Sibley Building and Winn Companies, Young Audiences of Rochester, Immaginé, WBGT-TV, Kids Out and About.com, MVP Health Care, Yelp, Salvatore's Pizzeria, Zephyr Solutions, Plant Designs, Continental Sales, Twist & Shout, Technology Happens, Air Craft Balloon Pumps, Clik-Clik, Badfish, Get Noticed, Vincent Associates Real Estate, and many Kickstarter backers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


About Airigami: Artist Larry Moss, founder and creative director of Airigami, began his career 25 years ago as a NYC street performer, but has gone on to display his amazing air-filled art in 12 countries on four continents.  His achievements have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Associated Press, CNN, PBS, Smithsonian Magazine, American Profile, Cabinet and Ripley's Believe It or Not!  He has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, NBC's Today show, ABC's Good Morning America, and at the White House three times. World-renowned for his "full-blown" installations that enchant both young and old, Larry's work brings people together as only the best public art installations can. In addition to his Balloon Manors, his accomplishments include setting and holding the world's record for the largest, non-round balloon sculpture (Soccer Players, Belgium, 2000) as well as building and launching the world's first piloted latex balloon sculpture (Fantastic Flying Octopus, Sodus Point, 2003). In 2009, Larry and new Airigami partner, Kelly Cheatle, began creating dimensional illustrations that combine balloons with photography and design. The pair turned Master Works - a series of 12 tributes to iconic masterpieces that have gone "viral" internationally - into a children's picture book entitled Artist Eyes in 2011. Next, the duo created Once Upon a Time, a series of ten works inspired by childhood fantasies and fairy tales, which resulted in their second picture book, And He Puffed: An inflated story of the Three Little Pigs. Airigami's balloon-based, illustrative work for Ogilvy & Mather in India's Celebrate Bandra festival won a Silver Abby Award, and the duo was invited to work with those masters of claymation, Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates:  Band of Misfits) at the world's largest ad festival, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France in 2012. In 2013, Larry and Kelly created The Cookie Chronicles, a series of three short videos for Oreo (which they dubbed "Oreogami"), as well as a 20-foot Elastic Park Acrocanthosaurus for the Virginia Museum of Natural History. They recreated Fragonard's The Swing in 3D at Phelps Arts Center, Bouguereau's Young Priestess at Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery, and built a giant dragon at Rochester's National Museum of Play that was transported to the Brooklyn Children's Museum on a Christmas Eve edition of A&E's Shipping Wars.


Media please note:  High-resolution images and more about Balloon Manor are available to press at http://www.balloonmanor.com/press, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged. View Balloon Manor 2014 (YouTube video) or visit balloonmanor.com and airigami.com for more information.



Sally Cohen
585-749-1795, @PR4Arts
PR as creative as you are