Inflatable art invades the Frank C. Ortis Gallery through January. The exhibit Inflated highlights works by seven artists whose work explores ideas of volume from material, physical and numerical perspectives.
The medium of inflatable art is gaining popularity around the world and art lovers can find in museums such as NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, which is currently displaying a monumental rainbow and clouds by the famed art collaborative FriendsWithYou. This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured a balloon titled “Love Flies Up to the Sky,” by Yayoi Kusama, the world renowned artist known for her signature dots.
Displaying art can be challenging, but everything changes when all the art needs to be inflated. No one knows this better than the chief curator of the Frank Gallery Taryn Nicoll, who notes, “Some of the metal beams that run along the ceiling weren’t capable of running the lines for the blowers to inflate, so there was a limited amount of space. The installers included planks of painted wood to support the necessary additions.” The art not only needed to stay inflated but needed to be arranged in a way that is appealing to all the exhibit’s visitors. This included arranging the air blowers that power the exhibit, so they are camouflaged around the gallery out of sight from the rest of the art on display. Nicoll was fortunate because as she described it, “We had the best team of installers in Florida working on this project.”
The exhibit features art by Ryan the Wheelbarrow, a Texas transplant who has made his home in Miami, where he uses spray paint to create abstract visions often on canvas. His expressive painting is not limited to one specific medium, and his brings his unique style with him when he engages an audience during live demonstrations of his painting.
Next to Ryan the Wheelbarrow, it’s hard to miss the work of Kansas City artist Michael Rees when you walk into the exhibit. Rees’s inflated vinyl sculptures tower over viewers with their smooth edges and bright colors. Featured work from his Synthcell series, combine large-scale inflated sculptures that offer an experimental experience in the space that they occupy. The sculptures offer viewers an entrance into a world of art without limitations.
Inspired by nature, Nicole Banowetz brings her Incubation effect to The Frank. Her work offers an immersive experience into the life cycle of an insect through vivid colors represented on mixed media. Colorful spheres come to a sharp point, emphasizing the beauty, and often unforgiving nature of the natural world. Banowetz demonstrates the versatility of inflatable art, showing that it can be molded and shaped akin to a piece of clay.
Inflatable art is taking off in museums around the world, and with the variety and versatility of the medium, it’s not difficult to see why its popularity is growing. Residents and visitors alike can see these pieces on view at The Frank Art Gallery through January.
As part of Inflated, The Frank offers free workshops, lectures and events for children and adults. For more information, visit https://www.thefrankgallery.org/events.
The Frank is located in the Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines at 601 City Center Way. Admission to The Frank is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about The Frank, call 954.392.2120, email email@example.com or visit thefrankgallery.org. Follow The Frank on Facebook and Instagram at The Frank Pembroke Pines.
Nicole Banowetz is a Denver sculptor who makes sewn inflatable sculptures and delicate assembled forms to address vulnerability and struggle. http://www.nicolebanowetz.com/
Michael Rees isa sculptorworking in themes of figuration, language, technology and the social to weave a sculptural mélange. http://michaelrees.org
Capucine Safir, a sculptor known for her organic and smooth work in stone and other materials. https://www.capucinesafir.com/index.html:
Asser Saint-Val is a painter, sculptor and installation artist whose quasi-figurative images bring together ideas, people and incidents central to modern debates about the definition and valence of Neuromalanin, a dark pigment found in the brain. https://www.assersaintvl.com/
Ryan the Wheelbarrow is co-founder of Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide and a screen printing performance artist who keeps his finger on the pulse of street art and graffiti by blogging, curating and collaborating with other artists. https://ryanthewheelbarrow.bigcartel.com/
Gregory Dirr is an interdisciplinary visual artist who creates work as a cathartic response to his surroundings, with a focus on environmental conservation. https://www.gregorydirr.com/
The Frank is a two-story art gallery named after Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis for his decades-long commitment to the cultural arts. The Frank art gallery, located in the Charles F. Dodge City Center, showcases multi-disciplinary inclusive exhibitions to foster connections, initiate cultural change and promote innovation. The gallery’s exhibition and learning space serves as a site of convergence for artists, performers, thought leaders and community members to create partnerships for social engagement, leveraging the power of the arts to create a sense of place.
Funding for this organization is provided in part by Broward County Cultural Division, Culture Builds Florida, Hello Sunny-Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center and Visitors Bureau and National Endowment for the Arts. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida