Thursday, October 16, 2008

BBAP is 21!!! WOOOOO!!!!

Come celebrate with us!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Life of a Balloon

I was lucky enough to catch a few of the balloons through the entire process.

Balloons, Balloons, Everywhere.

So, I'm finally getting around to blogging about Mel Ziegler's Downtown Mixer project. The project was insane amounts of coordination, lots of rejection, exhausting hours, but ultimately I think an interesting social project, entertaining for both the volunteers and business people, and in the end a successful happening. In my mind the greatest part of the project was the process. For Mel, me, and the rest of our great volunteers there were hours upon hours of continual asking people to blow up a balloon and draw on it. Seems simple, doesn't it? Most people barely even broke stride as they zoomed by the table. But eventually you had to get over the constant rejection, and then you really appreciated the people who actually stopped and participated. And I even rejoiced in times when people came specifically to blow up a ballon, and made these great portraits. I think most people thought we were crazy, but we still had over 1600 people participate. That was amazing. Some buildings were friendlier than others (I won't name any names), there were definatley times of day that were more productive, and we could have used a few more volunteers, but after 3 solid days of collecting balloons we were faced with an entire room full of bags of balloons, and there was even more work ahead. We then had to attach pipe cleaners to every balloon in order to mount them to the blocks of wood that were their tiny pedestals. And then mix the colors together and transfer them back to the building lobbies to be installed. Carrying bags of balloons down the street on windy days in downtown Houston had to be some of my favorite moments from the week. Once the balloons were installed in all of the buildings, entire new headaches we never anticipated began to pop up. I won't go into it all, but let me just say, balloons do not like windows and heat. Though most balloons deflated within a week or two, amazingly, in the end, I finally had to remove balloons from the Continental building which were still inflated over a month later. And I think the happiest moment for me was chatting with the security guard there, who at first wasn't very cooperative with the project, but then began explaining the project to people in the building, and in the end was asking me when we were going to be back doing more art. That helped to make all the headaches worth it.
Finally, I would like to thank Mel's assistants Miranda, Myranda, and Lindsey who we couldnt have done the project without. Also, big props to my mom, who was like the balloon whisperer and could convince almost anyone to participate. And all the rest of our volunteers who made the project possible have my unending thanks. An insane amount of pictures of the project can be found at our website. Click here to see them.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Well, in keeping with a tradition said to have originated with Paul Kittelson, the Night of the Derby did end with a small fire.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ephemeral public art! WOOO!!!!

In this 2007 article from, Mel Ziegler makes a case for ephemeral public art!

Advocating not-so-permanent public art

(Also included in that set of articles is a review of our very own Elaine Bradford's 2007 Women and Their Work show. Woot! Woot!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Suckling is Continuous

After jumping through all the hoops with the city to get the permit for Kathy Kelley's installation "Suckling is Continuous" at Freed Park we basically had two days to install. Luckily Kathy is a hard worker and had a plan, and we managed to pull it off. Thanks to JoAnn Park, Troy Stanley, and Mat Wolff who came out and helped Kathy and I install the giant recycled tire sculpture. It was a dirty job with some heavy lifting involved. But I think it turned out fantastically. Thanks to Kathy for such a great sculpture. Its definitely the begining of our year of bigger, better projects.

Many people from the neighborhood stopped by while we were installing to ask questions and find out what we were doing. Its always good when a piece begins to get the community thinking about public art. Its why we do what we do. And the reception on February 9th brought many people out to talk to the artist and enjoy some Valentine cookies.

A big thank you to Jeff Shell of the Heights Beautification Project for asking us to be a part of the Green Valentine 2008. We hope to make this an annual event, and bring site specific art that embodies the ideas of sustainability and recycling to Freed Park every year.
More images of the installation and the Green Valentine reception can be found on our website in the Image Gallery.