Summer review and upcoming Airigami events

It's been a crazy summer with moving in to the new studio. This update is long overdue. So here's what's coming up and a quick review of events from the second half of the summer.

First Friday past and future.

For starters, whether or not you made it to our grand opening the First Friday of August, we'd love to have you join us on September 3 from 6-9 PM for this next First Friday. Just like last month, we're not the only studio open, so come and experience the art of the Hungerford Urban Artisans. We had a blast during our opening. Visitors posed with a mermaid sculpture we made for the event. Many of our guests also tried their hands twisting balloons. Come and see what we whip up this month.

What else is coming

It's back to school time. While school hasn't actually begun yet, I have had the opportunity to dust off the elementary school show already. I've been performing How to Catch a Mouse for years to the kindergarten through sixth grade crowd. The show last week was for a summer program run by the Rush-Henrietta school district here as one of their last special programs before the kids return to school. I have a few schools booked for the coming year, and I know many more are to come. Thanks go out to Young Audiences of Rochester and Young Audiences of Western New York for coordinating most of the school shows I personally present in Western and Central NY. The popularity of the show has been growing, and the number of other entertainers now doing the show in other regions of the country has also grown. Smarty Pants in Chicago, Jungle Jim Manning in New England and Annie Banannie in Southern California, are just a few of the people performing it now. Cathy Adams, Mike Iradi and Marsha Gallagher are among the names being added to the roster. So wherever you are in the country, let us know if you're interested in bringing the show to your school. We may have someone ready to present it in your area.

Of course, it's not just elementary schools that have Airigami presentations. We're hitting a few colleges over the next couple months too. I'll be doing some strolling entertainment over the next few days at Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College, and a sculpture installation next month at SUNY Oswego.

As always, check our calendar to see what we'll be doing that's open to the public.

Kasha Davis in balloons

What we've been up to

So what's been keeping us so busy that I haven't had time to blog? Aside from setting things up in the studio, we've had a chance to take part in some pretty cool events. In mid July we took part in the Rochester PRIDE parade. What a blast. We were surrounded by some really colorful people, so we did our best to add to the color. We were honored to make a costume for drag queen Kasha Davis, along with some other sculptures that were worn along the entire parade route.

On August 20, the Surviving Parents Coalition launched the Ride For Their Lives. The goal of the Surviving Parents Coalition is to prevent predatory crimes through awareness, education, and legislation. We took part in the launch of this nationwide bike tour with an Airigami bicycle.

Rochester became a tour stop for TJam on the Road on August 27. Robbie Furman, Alberto Nava and Don Caldwell spent a day in our studio teaching professional ballooning classes. This isn't the first time Robbie and Don have been here. Don was my co-lead and head monster maker on all four Balloon Manors, as well as assisting on other projects, and Robbie was also on the Balloon Manor crew. It was great having Alberto join us. The packed room told us that we need to host more classes. Kelly and I plan on teaching classes in the coming months. We've also talked to other local and out-of-town artists about teaching. We haven't put a schedule together just yet, but don't let that stop you from letting us know if you're interested. Classes will range from beginner through advanced and will cover a variety of subjects. Let us know what you'd like to learn from us.

A fun addition to our offerings

I'm asked all the time about making my sculptures last longer. The only consistent method we've found so far is through photos. We're now partnering with Picture Marketing, Inc to make that easier. We regularly create installation pieces that invite people to jump in and pose for pictures. The folks at Picture Marketing have a fantastic system for sharing digital images. They take the photo. All you have to do is go home and retrieve it on the web. Only you have access to your own photo unless you choose to share it. We expect that many of the events we participate in will be able to add this additional element to make Airigami sculptures last forever.

Visiting us in the studio

Don't forget, we'd love to have you come and visit.  Just give us a call when you're around and check with us before popping in. We don't have regular hours, but we'll do our best to meet you when you call.