Balloon Art is Popping in RVA

Caitlin McSorley

Staff Writer

Quick! Before they deflate… A short term Balloon exhibit attracted a significant uptick in shoppers through Regency mall starting Feb. 25.

Thousands of vibrant balloons transformed into a natural scene beneath the escalators in the center of the indoor shopping center.

A fountain, completed with a swan, is the focal point of the walk-though exhibit, encircled in a flower-filled garden.  Creatures, such as a butterfly, owl, grasshopper, frog, caterpillar, and some squirrels are hidden among the trees and flowers. The view is just as astonishing from the second floor balcony, where the puffy clouds fill the “sky” above the garden.  A large arching entrance provides a grandiose sense for visitors, toddlers to elderly.

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Pete Verdery standing in front of the exhibit. Photo: Caitlin McSorley

“They are beautiful,” said preschooler, and future Rebel, Pete Verdery, referring to the balloons.  His favorite part: “The Fox!”  Pete, his mom, and his two sisters decided to go to the mall and observe the art after losing power during the high wind storm Friday.

However, the beauty in the exhibit does not all come from the blooming trees and floral beds.  The garden was created by over 50 artists from around the world, who came together to fulfill the wish of RVA Balloons artist Deborah Fellman, who is terminally ill.

Her friends wanted to send her on an extravagant trip when they learned of her diagnosis, but instead she wanted, “a final gift to the city’s residents who have supported her [balloon] business over the past decade.”

Together all of the artists created the ‘RVA Enchanted Balloon Garden’ over the span of two days.

The exhibit will be open for about a week, until the balloons begin to wilt.  Until then, the exhibit is bringing life to the mall.  Make sure to look for the friendly and smiling woman, gliding through the garden in her wheelchair, and thank her for all the joy she provided for many across RVA.

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The Balloon Exhibit at Regency. Photo: Caitlin McSorley

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