Another month and more travel
I'm sitting at O'Hare Airport in Chicago on my way home from DePauw University in Indiana. I'm glad to have gotten this far. A mechanical failure on my flight prevented me from making the trip last night. This makes things rather tight to get back to the studio for tonight's First Friday open house at the studio. But, I will make it, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you folks that get out to see us. Todd Neufeld will also be at the studio for a bit tonight, prepping for his classes with us tomorrow.
Amidst all of the insanity of travel, classes, random gigs, and a studio that was left an absolute mess when I had to run to Indiana earlier in the week, how will we pull off another First Friday? With the help of the new Airigami Goddess, Jen Matteson. Unless we come up with a better title, that's what we're calling Jen. Jen just started last week. She'll be helping to manage the office, wrangle a couple of artists, and otherwise do her best to keep the business running.
DePauw proved to be a lot of fun for a number of reasons. First, I had a chance to hang out with an old friend and former target, Kevin Kinney. Kevin is a biology professor there, but in a past life, he was a regular juggling partner of mine (and therefore saw lots of flying objects aimed straight at him). He's also the one that helped coin the "Airigami" name. He's an origamist that I pulled into the world of balloon art years ago. Working together, we needed to find a way to describe what we were actually doing. It wasn't balloon art like anyone had seen before and we knew we needed a new term.
Fun aside, the reason for the trip was to speak on creating art out of thin air, and to work with members of the university community to install some air-filled art. Ten people joined in and helped construct a cool tree in the center of their student union. Both the talk and the installation went well, and we're already discussing a return trip in the future to do a larger project.
Indianapolis Children's Museum
If I have to travel, I'm not going to miss an opportunity to visit a children's museum. And this one certainly isn't one to miss. They claim to be the largest children's museum in the country. Based on what I saw, I'm not about to doubt them. While walking around the museum, I stumbled across a photo on a wall in the Egyptian exhibit of a child wearing a balloon hat. It made me smile, partly because it was nice to see the balloon in an exhibit, but more because it gave me an excuse to mention a really cool museum that otherwise didn't fit in this post. :-)