Balloon Manor: The Build
Once again, Balloon Manor was built with a truly amazing crew. Roughly 75 people played a part in this year’s project, with 60 artists on site building. Many of the artists put in as many as 60 hours over the four days of construction. The crew was a mix of very experienced artists and inexperienced but very excited community members. The crew included artists traveling from as far away as the Netherlands and Australia and across the US and Canada.
The Finished Installation
As with last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk installation in the Sibley Building, The Amazing Undersea Adventure rose up the five stories of the building’s atrium. Or maybe down from the 5th floor of the Sibley Building through the depths of the ocean to the sunken world of Atlantis below.
Over 40,000 Qualatex balloons were used in the full installation.
For this, as with most of the Balloon Manors of the past, the visuals have been enhanced with an audio experience created by Ward Hartenstein. Ward’s music and full soundscapes have always been created specifically for each installation. This year, he chose to get a little more creative with the layering of music on multiple floors of the building. If you stand in just the right place, you can hear those layers. I’m hoping we can talk Ward into taking that a little further next time around.
This year, we had an additional auditory experience. Rochester’s Story Chick, Aprille Byam, recorded her detailed description of the entire Balloon Manor experience. The story should be a fun listening experience for everyone. Download it now to give it a listen. We have always had the goal of making Balloon Manor accessible to everyone in the community. This year, with Aprille’s story, we’re making it possible for those with visual impairments to get a greater feel for what Balloon Manor is all about.
Watch the time lapse of the build to Ward Hartenstein’s music –
What people are saying
Want to know if you should come visit over the next few days while the exhibit is still up? We grabbed just a few of our favorite quotes from the guest book to help persuade you.
“I want to come back every day, except Christmas Eve, because I have to wait for Santa.” – Eli, age 4.
“My favorite part was the octopus, and the turtles. And the crabs. And the seagull. Pretty much all of it.” – Julia, age 8.
“This event breathes life back into our city. One of the few times a year when everyone comes downtown!” – Francesca Pullano
You have until Sunday, March 8 at 3:00 to see it.
What’s left to see?
There are still two events left during this year’s Balloon Manor. We’d love to see you there.
• Fifties First Friday: Enchantment under the Sea
March 6, 6 – 9 p.m.
FREE! Dance the night away, or stand awkwardly in a corner while you relive your prom night at our Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. We’ll rock around the Sibley clock with live music by Krypton 88, dance with the Rochester Swing Dance Network, and explore all 5 stories of the Balloon Manor sculpture. Vintage prom costume contest sponsored by Yelp Rochester. Dress in vintage prom attire or as your favorite character from Back the Future and you may win a prize from Yelp. The event is family-friendly. Everyone is welcome. We encourage teens and up to attend.
• Popping Party!
March 8, 3 – 6 p.m.
BUY TICKETS NOW! All good things must come to an end. Join us as we pop the over 40,000 balloons comprising the Balloon Manor: Amazing Air-filled Undersea Adventure sculpture. We’ll also enjoy POPcorn and sodaPOP- while we look for prize coupons hidden in the sculpture. NOTE: You must be ticketed to pop the sculpture. Tickets: $10 (Family and group discount packages available.) Check out the list of prizes that can be won and buy your tickets now.
Souvenirs of Balloon Manor
When you come to visit, please stop at the gift shop. We have Airigami books, prints, T-shirts and assorted other items for sale, including this mermaid print, on canvas and watercolor paper.
If you can’t get to the manor in person, don’t worry! You can still make purchases online in the giftshop.
Earlier in the week, numerous people stopped by the gift shop and asked us if we’ll be doing another Balloon Manor next year. Now, despite the fact that we never answered the first question, the query has changed to, “what will you do for Balloon Manor next year?” So here’s the scoop. We love doing Balloon Manor. We’d like to do it again. To those that have written to us from far away, yes, we’d even like to do it in other cities. We need your help.
As you can imagine, Balloon Manor is quite an expensive project. Over the years, it’s taken on various forms, using from 40,000 to 100,000 balloons, from 50 to 75 artists traveling here from great distances, and up to 350 local community volunteers. If you can help sponsor the event, directly or indirectly through an employer, granting agency, or any other sort of funding source you’re connected to, let us know as soon as possible. We’re signing up sponsors for next year now in order to ensure we have the funds, and the time, to do this right.
And that brings us to …
Thanks again to all of the sponsors of Balloon Manor: The Amazing Air-filled Undersea Adventure
FRIENDS of Balloon Manor