Airigami Adventure 2016 ending soon

AirigamiAdventure-FullPano Airigami Balloon Adventure: Journey on the Genesee is coming to an end this weekend. If you're in the Rochester, NY area and you haven't had a chance to see it in person, now's the time to do it. Six months of planning, 40,000 compostable Qualatex™ balloons, 73 artists, six work days squeezed into four calendar days, and tens of thousands of visitors makes for one heck of a festival at The Sibley Building (250 E Main St, Rochester, NY).

If you're not in the Rochester area, you can at least get a small taste of what was done by our amazing crew. Below are a few images. We recommend you take a look at the gallery on for a more complete picture of the project.

Here's a small sampling of critters found along the Genesee River.

Check out a few shots of the crew at work.

Audio tour

Like last year, Aprille Byam, did a great audio tour of the sculpture that was so popular, we asked her to do it again this year. You can listen to it while you flip through photos, or as you walk around the sculpture. We've had a number of people tell us they've just enjoyed the tour without looking at the balloons. Listen as Aprille talked about Justus, Leah, and Skyler's adventure. As an added bonus this year, Aprille has recorded stories that can be enjoyed along with the sculpture as you walk around the third floor of the Sibley Building.

Watch it being built

As we usually do on our large builds, we captured time lapse footage of the whole thing being put together. We think you'll enjoy this video.


Tonight at Airigami Adventure

This evening is First Friday, Rochester's monthly celebration of the arts. We're open for First Friday, as are many other art venues in the city. While we normally celebrate First Friday in our studio, we've moved tonight's festivities to the Sibley Building where we'll be hanging out until 10:00PM. At 5:30 this evening, Aprille Byam will be on stage telling some stories from the region. From 7:30-9:30, Music After Dark, sponsored by Spectrum Creative Arts, will be providing live music.

The rest of the weekend and annual popping party

The presentations we've had on stage have proven quite popular this week. Thanks to Cheshire AV for making the stage a possibility at this year's event. We'll be ending our stage presentations with Magician John Wolfson doing a show on Saturday at 12:30 and another at 1:00 on Sunday. The ZooMobile will return on Saturday from 10:00 to noon and 4:00 to 6:00 on Saturday, and the Seneca Park Zoo's My Genesee Festival will take place all day on Saturday. And of course there are still openings in a few of our Talk and Twist classes.

Sunday is the big popping party. We ask all ticketed poppers to show up at 3:00 on Sunday so we're ready to start popping balloons at 3:30. The popping party is a way to celebrate the fun we've had these last couple of weeks. Prize coupons are stuffed inside some of the balloons so poppers can not only enjoy the balloons, but possibly walk away with prizes from quite a few Rochester-area businesses. Don't forget to buy tickets in advance. The popping party will sell out. Ticket sales help cover the cost of the Airigami Adventure.


We do this because we love creating community art: Art that's created by the community and for the community. This year, it was a special treat to be able to combine that with education. Art education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. We've been teaching classes on balloon art throughout the last week. But that's only a small piece of what we've done. Our relationship with the YMCA of Greater Rochester made it possible to teach STEM principles to many kids and adults passing through. We've shared information on the creation of balloons, engineering of large projects with balloons, and the composting of our materials. We've also been able to highlight the plant and animal life in our region by working with the Seneca Park Zoo Society and focusing heavily on their One Cubic Foot project.

The most important part

The most important part of all of these massive installations are the people that make them happen. Sure, Kelly and I like the attention, but we're only a piece of the whole thing. We get to work with the most amazing crews around. We have artists that join us from around the world to take part our adventures. We also have many interested people that just love the notion of contributing to a community project that take time off from their regular jobs, only to work even harder with us. We have so many others that rarely get mentioned for their contributions to our work that we simply couldn't do without, including the security, maintenance, and janitorial staff in the Sibley Building.

The Airigami Balloon Adventure 2016 Team

Larry Moss – Creative Director, Airigami Kelly Cheatle – Artistic Director, Airigami

Staff Suzanne Haring – Artist Wrangler, Richard Hughson – MacGyver, Michael Hardy – Sponsorship Director, Sally Cohen – PR, Lanna Lee Maheux – Social Media Maven, Dan Schneiderman – Social Media Maven, Renee Veniskey – Photography, Ward Hartenstein – Sound Design, Aprille Byam, Todd Neufeld, Lisa McIntire, Drew Ripley, Brian Asman, Laurie Straus

Crew members Agnes Niewiadomski, Andrew Weaver, Antony Romo, Deborah Fellman, Derek Wong, Faye Ori, Janice Spagnola, Jeff D’Ambrosio, John Slack, John Wolfson, Julie Zauzmer, Ken Romo, Kenwyn Dapo, Kim Spagnola, Linda Ripley, Maria Torres, Marsha Gallagher, Millie Boon, Mordeci Swald, Patti Gutter, Rachael Tachco, Remy Fenster, Robin Schepler, Rose Hasan, Sean Miller, Steph Smith, Stephanie Swald, Stuart Gutter, TJ Michael, Tracy Michael, Victoria Flugel, Vince Mehringer, Terry Moore, Walter Crum, David Lima, Katie Le, Tim Henshaw, Derrick Taylor, Libby Varno-Colbert, Michael Abrahamson, Barbara Kopp, Mark Spencer, Ihuoma Nkem, Lois Sprague, Debby Rice, Sheryl Watts, Diane Tunney, Julie Michael, Daron Lowell, Valerie Allison, Khiet Huynh-Hartman, Katherine Baca-Bielinis, Mary Ann Proia, Nicole Wolfson, Casey Wun, Joel Byam, Chris Durand

Airigami Adventure 2016 Sponsors

Presenting: Seneca Park Zoo Society, YMCA of Greater Rochester Platinum: Qualatex Balloons, Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown Gold: City of Rochester, Kids Out and, The Sibley Building, Winn Companies, Fox Rochester, 13WHAM, CW Rochester Silver: Immagine Photography, Spectrum Creative Arts Bronze: Cheshire AV, City Newspaper, Yelp Friends: Badfish Consulting,, Plant Designs, WalkUp Advertising Pals: Continental Sales, Magical John, Flower City Vaudeville, Storychick Vendors: Airigami, Seneca Park Zoo, Brown Sugar Pastries, Doc Popcorn, Salvatore's Pizza