Friday, May 29, 2015

Not your parents' balloon animals

Now for something completely different - balloon sculptures you've got to see to believe.

Not your parents' balloon animals

Somewhere in between trick-or-treating and screaming my lungs out this weekend for the Phillies, I've got to get over to SkyBox Studios in Fishtown, where artist Jason Hackenwerth's show opens tonight, for a four week run.  Curated by Eileen Tognini,  it's called "The Titan and the Fireflies," and you won't believe it unless you see it.

Jason is a balloon artist, which I could describe in detail here. But I'll let  Daily News videographer extraordinaire Sarah Glover show you what Hackenwerth does in this wonderful video she just posted on the website. She shot Jason in the process of creating his exhibition, so the final frames of her video portray a work still in progress, not completed. You'll have to head over to SkyBox to see the final result:  Gigantic, twisted balloons, suspended from the rafters of the studio's two-story tall atrium, strategically lit and just cool as all get-out.

Have a gander at Sarah's video and Hackenwerth's website, and ponder just how ethereal "captured air" (my term) can appear when in the hands of an energetic artist who was raised by a mom made her living twisting balloon animals for kids' parties.

Here's pertinent info about the show:

Opening Party
Friday October 30, 7-10pm

October 31 - November 28
Tuesday - Saturday
12 - 6 pm

Sky Box
2424 East York Street
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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