SAVANNAH, GA (May 27, 2022) — Telfair Museums is excited to present BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art, an imaginative traveling exhibition from the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, Calif. The exhibition will be on view at the Jepson Center May 27–September 18 and features inflatable art by well-known contemporary artists and art collectives. “BLOW UP is a showcase of creativity and technology, and each artist has a unique approach to this medium,” said Alex Mann, Telfair’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator. “While some pieces are hand-sewn, others are modeled on computers and custom-fabricated, using lightweight and durable synthetic materials to achieve their impressive scale. The results are bold and unforgettable.”
Telfair’s 2019 exhibition Summon the Sea: Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick introduced new audiences to Tristan Lowe’s massive wool felt, inflatable whale, Mocha Dick, and inspired visitors of all ages to explore new mediums of contemporary art. Frequent visitors may also recall seeing Hot Pink by artist Anne Ferrer, on view previously in the Jepson Center’s Eckburg atrium. This year, inflatable art will be presented on a larger scale with fifteen works averaging 9 feet tall. BLOW UP: Inflatable Contemporary Art explores the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating larger-than-life sculptures. Featuring 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, Calif. 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.
An opening reception will be presented by Telfair Museums’ newest membership affiliate group, Telfair Contemporaries, on May 26 at 6pm. Guests are invited to participate in a private, curator-led tour of the exhibition and more. Telfair Contemporaries members are free, admission for general museum members is $10, and not-yet members will be charged $20. To RSVP to the event, please contact Calli Laundré at 912-790-8807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local residents are encouraged to visit the Jepson Center for free on Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 28. Telfair Museums is waiving admission fees at its two sites on Telfair Square to residents across a six-county region: Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty (Georgia), and Beaufort and Jasper (South Carolina) with proof of residence or a valid ID. Parking in downtown Savannah is free on Sundays.
About Telfair Museums
Opened in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and the first U.S. museum founded by a woman. The museum features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District and encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center for the Arts, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Telfair Academy. For more information on Telfair Museums, visit telfair.org.