Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art lands at the Muskegon Museum of Art

Business News |Feb 17, 2017|3 min read

The Muskegon Museum of Art will present Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art February 23 through April 23, 2017. The exhibition features large scale inflatable structures, including a life-size inflatable Trans Am, 14 foot tall pink bunnies, and a 25 foot long reclining Buddha-inspired figure, to name just a few of the inflatable sculptures installed in the gallery. The MMA invites the public to an opening reception on Thursday, February 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Refreshments and balloon animals by “The Balloon Guy” Jim Perry will be provided. The event is free.


Blow Up features works by artists who use air as a sculptural medium. While inflatable objects are typically associated with advertising, children’s entertainment or holiday decorations, the format has been appropriated by a diverse group of artists to explore complex subjects such as identity, materialism, and war. Playing with scale, color, and the inherent light-heartedness of balloons, the selected artists produce a wide variety of sculptural forms from Lewis deSoto’s Sleeping Buddha to Claire Ashley’s colorful abstract shapes. This traveling exhibition includes major works by Claire Ashley (Chicago), Lewis deSoto (Napa), Patrick Flibotte (New York), Billie Grace Lynn (Miami), Guy Overfelt (San Francisco), Momoyo Torimitsu (Tokyo), and Christo and Jean-Claude. After its appearance in Muskegon, Blow Up will travel to the Loveland Museum in Colorado, where it will appear throughout the summer.


Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art was organized by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibition, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.


The exhibition was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is locally underwritten by the DTE Energy Foundation. Additional support has been provided by WGVU Public Media and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.





Saturday, March 11, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Balloons Super Saturday 

Free family fun day centered on inflatable art, including balloon animals and the film Up! Super Saturday free admission and activities are underwritten by MMA Education Partner Arconic/Whitehall Operations.

10:00 am & 1:00 pm Film: Up! (96 mins.) Carl, an elderly homebody, and 8-year old Russell, a wilderness explorer, trek on a worldly adventure marked with a villain, a rare bird, and LOTS of balloons.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm Guided Tours through Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art with a Museum docent.

11:00 am – 2:00 pm Make & Take balloon animals with Jim “the balloon guy.”


The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave. in Muskegon, Michigan. Go to for visitor information or call 23.720.2570.