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Friday, July 11, 2014 3:00 AM



REMINDER Release:  July 2, 2014

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

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



60-foot space shuttle made of balloons is perfect match for Houston event

"Houston, we have a problem" calls attention to dire need for organ donation in US


Rochester, NY - Rochester's Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle of Airigami ("the fine art of folding air") will build the world's first and tallest space shuttle made entirely from balloons for the 2014 Donate Life Transplant Games Opening Ceremony, taking place at Houston, Texas' BBVA Compass Stadium (2200 Texas Ave.) on July 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. 


The biennial, multi-sport event helps to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donation, as well as showing the world that transplantation works. Having seen Moss and Cheatle on Good Morning America and looking for a highly visible way to promote the games, local organizers at the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority contacted Airigami.


"Airigami's unique shuttle sculpture will not only symbolize the hope of thousands of athletes who'll be ‘reaching for the stars' in Houston this July, but it will also draw attention to the 120,000 Americans who are still waiting on the organ transplant list," says Transplant Games of America President & CEO Bill Ryan. "Yes, ‘Houston, we have a problem,' but it's one that we can solve."


The 60-foot-tall shuttle-complete with external fuel tank, solid rocket boosters and rocket "exhaust"-will be created entirely out of 30,000 Qualatex® balloons donated by Airigami sponsor, Pioneer Balloon Company. Construction will take place July 8-11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which will be open for public viewing during the build. In addition to a team of eight professional artists from all over North America led by Airigami, hundreds of volunteers will take part in constructing pieces of the sculpture. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, a festive parade of builders will carry the shuttle pieces from the convention center to the stadium, where the sculpture will be assembled just outside the stadium walls, with assistance from a 75-foot crane. The shuttle will be completed just in time for the evening ceremony, and popped immediately afterwards.


"It's an honor for us to be a part of this important event, which will help thousands of those awaiting transplantation to fulfill their dreams," says Airigami Founder & Creative Director Larry Moss. "And, because creating community is a big part of what Airigami does, we're excited to work directly with the recipients, donors, their families and community members to create this exciting, one-of-a-kind piece together."


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. 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). His Balloon Manors-walk-through haunted houses made from 100,000 balloons-attracted international attention in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. 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. 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. 2014 began with the fifth Balloon Manor, a five-story The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk in downtown Rochester, NY. 


The Donate Life Transplant Games, produced by Transplant Games of America® (TGA), is a biennial event held in the United States to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of individuals whose lives have been affected by organ, eye and tissue donation. Bringing together recipients, donors and donor families, as well as members of the medical community involved in transplantation, this festival-style, all-ages program promotes the life-changing impact of these gift-of-life donations. Participants from virtually every state compete in a variety of sporting and non-sport competitive events, and the busy five-day schedule also includes activities such as workshops, seminars, and a TGA village and expo. The 2014 Games launch with a public 5K run/walk on Saturday, July 12. For more information, contact Bill Ryan, (616) 356-2331, bill.ryan@tranplantgamesofamerica.org.


Harris County-Houston Sports Authority (Houston Sports) maintains the facilities and services the debt of the world-class, professional sports venues it was created to build.  To support this primary mission, HCHSA serves as a leading proponent for attracting sporting events to Houston and for promoting the city as a home for sports-related activities, to ultimately enhance Houston's economic development and bring better quality of life for its residents. For more information, contact Stephanie Weaver, (713) 308-5915, sweaver@houstonsports.org.


Media please note:  View an HTML version of this release at Airigami Blasts Off at Transplant Games. High-resolution images are available, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged. Please visit airigami.com for more information.