New Indoor and Outoor Displays Draw Giggles at National Museum of Play

National Museum of Play News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

June 3, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359,
Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

New Indoor and Outdoor Displays Invite Appreciative Giggles at National Museum of Play® at The Strong®

Uplifting Balloon Art by Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle:

Fairy tales rise to a new level at Once Upon a Time, a new  display of child-inspired art by local artists Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle on view at The Strong’s National Museum of Play Saturday, June 25 to Sunday, November 20, 2011. The self-described “airigami” artists (as in the fine art of folding air!) have created a series of “snapshots” of fairy tale balloon sculptures that evoke memories of childhood stories filled with deep, dark forests; towering beanstalks; and talking animals.

See Rapunzel letting down her long, flowing hair (made of golden balloons, of course!), the Big Bad Wolf blowing down a house built entirely of—guess what?; and Little Red Riding Hood, donning a red balloon cloak. A time-lapse video adjacent to the photographs shows the airigami artists at work.

“While we have previously worked together on individual pieces, this is the first complete series of work that we have done entirely as a team, from concept to execution,” say the artists. “As the concept took off, we envisioned the sharing and passing on of stories to our children to be an important part of the project. That made it important to us to integrate our own kids into the work. We hope other families find similar ways of enjoying the artwork and stories together.” (For more details:

Additional solo works by Moss (from his Master Works series) and Cheatle (crochet micro figures) will be installed at the museum Saturday, August 20, along with a number of works by other artists, as part of the museum’s biannual Whimsical Art Trail series.

The Once Upon a Time display is included with general museum admission fees.


Art (and Veggies) Bloom in the Discovery Garden:

Splish, splash! Someone’s taking a bath—in the outdoor Discovery Garden at The Strong’s National Museum of Play. Amid the foliage and natural wildlife, guests will encounter several new creations by staff  Exhibits 3-D Artist Craig Wilson including a delightfully silly bathtub guy (his head, toes, and one arm stick out of a tub spilling over with budding plants instead of bubbles) and two sets of giant steel chimes that beckon kids to clang, bang, and make happy music. Wilson sculpted these garden embellishments from discarded acetylene welding tanks and metal pipe. According to Wilson, the bathtub was inspired by museum founder Margaret Woodbury Strong, who planted a notorious ring of claw-footed bathtub planters around her Maine vacation home. Visit often to see what blooms this summer: the bathtub guy will sprout a more luxuriant head of “hair” and a spectacular “spray” of vine tomatoes will “rain down” upon him from the shower head above him.

Another new feature in the Discovery Garden is a Japanese vegetable garden planted by museum horticulturist Craig Sherwood with ginger, lotus, Asian melons, soybeans, bamboo, and more. The garden complements the new Five Friends from Japan: Children in Japan Today exhibit, which opens at the museum June 18 and remains on view through September 11. The exhibit invites guests to experience everyday Japanese life and culture through the eyes of five contemporary Japanese children. In conjunction with the exhibit, guests are invited to learn to Speak Japanese on select Tuesdays throughout the summer—July 5, July 19, August 2, and August 16 from 1 to 2 p.m. Stop by to try out basic Japanese phrases such as  “hello” and “goodbye,” count to ten, and learn to say your name in Japanese.

Entry to the outdoor Discovery Garden is free. The Five Friends from Japan exhibit and Speak Japanese lessons are included with general museum admission fees.


Museum Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Admission Fees: General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®): Adults $12, Seniors $11, Children (2–15) $10, Children younger than two free, Museum members free.

Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®: General Admission fee plus $2 for members, $4 for nonmembers; children under 2 free. Entry is by timed ticket only. Please call 585-263-2700 to reserve and purchase tickets.

Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, additional parking is available at neighboring municipal garages for a fee. The Strong is not responsible for fees incurred at off-site locations.