"Giants in the City" featuring whimsical inflatable sculptures by ten local artists opened Tuesday night at Bayfront Park where an intimate crowd gathered for a lighting ceremony and a concert on the green. "It was pretty chilly but about 200 people showed up," says artist Alette Simmons-Jimenez who along with artist Alejandro Mendoza curated the grass roots project and raised nearly $65,000 to fund the event. Simmons-Jimenez, founder of Wynwood's Artformz Alternative and Mendoza where joined by Gustavo Acosta, Jose Bedia, Tomas Esson, Frank Hyder, Anja Marais, John Martini, Angel Ricardo Rios and Michelle Weinberg each of whom created a 30-foot balloon-like piece for the show. Facing Biscayne Boulevard, the giants include a whale sprouting from the earth by Bedia, a gargantuan bottle of dish soap with "Joy" emblazoned across it by Weinberg, and a hot-pink lighthouse by Acosta. The sculptures were fabricated of nylon material and are maintained upright by tethers to the ground. An electric cold air blower feeds a continuous stream of air through a duct at the base of each piece.
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Wednesday, the billowing behemoths were brought low by the wind whipping off Biscayne Bay and lay flat on a lawn where they were cordoned off by yellow rope. "The fabric they are made of is delicate so we let the air out of them to make sure the sculptures wouldn't get damaged by the wind," Simmons-Jimenez explained. "They will be back up on Thursday and up through Sunday if the weather remains good."
-- Carlos Suarez De Jesus