Whimsical Art Trail Opens at National Museum of Play August 20

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

July 26, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359, strien@thestrong.org
Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@thestrong.org

Whimsical Art Trail Opens at
the National Museum of Play® August 20

Balloon art, faerie creatures, teeny tiny dolls, and fantastical puppets. Those are some of the delightful pieces of art that will greet museum guests as they follow the next Whimsical Art Trail at The Strong’s National Museum of Play August 20 through Sunday, November 20, 2011. The biannual series of displays offers fresh and original works by contemporary artists on view at various locations throughout the museum galleries. Meet the artists Saturday, August 20 from 1 to 4 p.m., learn about the creative process behind their work, and view video clips and additional art.

Along the trail, you may feel as if you are transported to Middle Earth when you spot Robert Rogalski’s (http://robertrogalski.blogspot.com) otherworldy puppets. Influenced by The Hobbit, Jim Henson, and Dr. Seuss, Rogalski creates fantastical sculptures from alternate worlds. After overcoming challenges with childhood dyslexia, Rogalski was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He went on to teach art to inner city school children. He was also illustrator for Mrs. Murphy’s Marvelous Mansion by Emma Perry Roberts. 

Jennifer Carson—the self-proclaimed “dragon charmer” from New Hampshire—offers a display of irresistibly cuddly, plush fantasy creatures and characters such as owls, polliwogs, and elves. Inspired by “the wonder and magic of nature,” Carson’s creatures begin as notebook sketches and develop their own distinctive personalities during the creative process. She crafts them from wool she hand dyes “to get just the right shade.” Carson is editor of Faerie Magazine and publishes her own sewing patterns at www.dragoncharmer.com

Also along the trail are inventive pieces from Larry Moss’s Master Works series, a parody of iconic masterpieces created through a combination of balloon sculpture and photography. Moss, whose large-scale balloon art creations have landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records, describes himself as an “airigami” artist (as in the fine art of folding air). His Master Works series includes balloon-sculptured interpretations of such classic paintings as the Mona Lisa, Whistle-air’s Mother, and American Gothic (http://www.airigami.com).  

Kelly Cheatle shows off her talents in a small way, with a display of teeny tiny crochets figures—like Yoda from Star Wars, with his minuscule feet planted firmly upon a real penny. Cheatle has been fascinated with micro art since the age of 10, when she read an article about scientists etching miniature angels on the head of a pin. Since then, she’s created miniature, wheel-thrown teapots and highly detailed crochet sculptures (www.craftyb.com).

Moss and Cheatle also collaborated on the Once Upon a Time series of balloon sculpture “snapshots” inspired by children’s fairy tales currently on view at the National Museum of Play. See Rapunzel letting down her long, flowing hair made of golden balloons, Little Red Riding Hood donning a red balloon cloak, and the Big Bad Wolf blowing down a house built entirely of—can you guess what?

All of the art displays remain on view through November 20, 2011 and are included with general museum admission fees.

(Call for Whimsical Art! The National Museum of Play is currently accepting applications for the February 18, 2012 Whimsical Art Trail display. Art must be family-friendly, original, imaginative, joyful, playful, safe for guests and museum artifacts, non-perishable, and whimsical (in form or function). Applications must be submitted to the museum by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 10. For details or to download a PDF of the application, please visit http://www.museumofplay.org/see-do/events/whimsical-art-trail.)


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.