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BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art explores the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating larger-than-life sculptures. Featuring nine cutting-edge installation projects, this exhibition shakes up traditional associations of inflatables with balloons, beach toys, and blimps. As a group, these demonstrate the wealth of visual possibilities for inflatable art, from playfully familiar subjects to colorful abstractions and thought-provoking conceptual work. The exhibition includes an international roster of artists and art collectives who are well known in contemporary art circles: Nicole Banowetz, Sharon Engelstein, FriendsWithYou, Joshua Harker, Susan Lee-Chun, Matt Ritchie, Lizabeth Rossof, Max Streicher, and Jen Stark. Their works use bold colors, pop culture references, and overwhelming scale to address an array of serious themes, including consumerism, climate change, cultural identity, and mortality.

BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art is organized by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions, Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA. This exhibition is the second iteration of BLOW UP, which was also curated and traveled by Bedford Gallery. The presentation of this exhibition at Telfair Museums is designed by Alex Mann, director of curatorial affairs and chief curator.

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