Inflatable Art Pops Up across Broward County

Towering up to 30 feet high and made of air and fabric, monumental inflatable sculptures now line the lawns of parks and libraries across Broward County. It's part of a public art series called "Searching…

Towering up to 30 feet high and made of air and fabric, monumental inflatable sculptures now line the lawns of parks and libraries across Broward County.

It’s part of a public art series called “Searching for Giants,” featuring 19 pieces by 15 artists from Giants in the City, a collective of artists bringing their talent into public spaces.

These works of art will pop up in nine locations from now until Oct. 26 and preface the Riptide Music Festival. “It will take art out into the open and cultivate a dialogue about arts and culture across the many communities,” said Meredith Clements, marketing director for the Broward Cultural Division.

Tara Rose, ‘Searching for Giants’ project manager said, “This medium of art was chosen because of its ability to be large scale and awe-inspiring, while also being fun, approachable and engaging.”

“Placing them in parks and libraries encourages residents at libraries and parks to see what is offered at those locations.”

– Meredith Clements; Broward Cultural Division Marketing Director

 “[Clements] was looking for a project that will . . . bring people out of their houses and consume art in public places. It’s a really powerful idea,” said Noor Blazekovic, cofounder and executive director for the collective.

“Yellow Submarine” by Venezuelan artist Eduardo Sanabria; view more of his work on Instagram here.

Last week, four sculptures stood in the grass, swaying in the light breeze at the Pompano Beach Library and Cultural Center.

Alongside a multicolor rainbow, yellow submarine and upright ladder stood Miguel Rodez’s all white, broken chain link sculpture, called “Lucky Link,” facing bustling Atlantic Boulevard.

Rodez said showing the art as a collective in busy places allows people to be part of it. Each piece is a collaboration between Alejandro Mendoza, founder of Giants in the City, and the artists.

Created to represent freedom from everyday situations that bind each of us, the fact that it moves, said Rodez, is meant to instill hope, “leading you to a nicer, wonderful place in your imagination.”

Yoga with the giants; photo by Daniel Lateulade

Viewers can pose with the pieces and post photos to Instagram including #ArtAcrossBroward and tagging @BrowardArts for a chance to win meet-the-band tickets for the Riptide Music Festival on Nov. 23 to 24, which encompasses food, art and fashion components this year.

Free programming takes place at 10:30 a.m. on each day the art is installed. This includes paddleboard demos, park cleanups, storytime, virtual reality demos and yoga.

“The world is coming to Broward and it’s celebrating all of the different cultures that we have . . . Broward has this diversity; it’s so beautiful,” Blazekovic said.

Giants in the City is a traveling public art exhibit bringing the inflatables to locations around the world, including Monaco, France, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

It started when Mendoza set out to create monumental sculptures on a budget; after drawing inspiration from bounce houses, he designed his first piece in 2008.

He began collaborating with other artists and the collective was formed.

Currently, there are 59 pieces, 19 of which will pop up around Broward County. More dates and locations are listed on artscalendar.com/ giants.

Rose said, “You don’t have to know art, or have experience viewing it to be able to enjoy these pieces. They naturally spark conversation between visitors, families, and friends.”

This piece was originally published Oct. 3, 2019, on page 9 of the New Pelican Newspaper here.