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Second Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation art project takes flight

Take Flight II, the new project, will feature 25 to 30 hot-air balloon statues, painted by local artists

February 04, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Principal Michael Thorsen talks Friday about the school's Take Flight II fundraiser. The new project will feature 25 to 30 hot-air balloon statues, painted by local artists and placed around town.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation in Hagerstown Friday unveiled the works that will become hot-air balloon statues for its second round of public art.

Take Flight II, the new project, will feature 25 to 30 hot-air balloon statues, painted by local artists and placed around town.

The foundation's second public art project to raise money for the school, the effort continues to be centered around the concept of flight, said Pieter Bickford, co-chairman of Take Flight II.

 In 2009, the foundation used a butterfly theme and raised about $100,000, he said.  It hopes to raise as much this year.

Bickford said the sculptures are scheduled to be unveiled on April 15.

As of Friday, 20 of the hot-air balloons had been sponsored, he said. The foundation was still seeking 10 additional sponsors.

Balloons sponsored at the $3,500 level will be sold at auction.  Sponsors of balloons at the $5,000 level will get to keep the sculpture.

Among the sponsors present Friday was Dave Rider, owner of Rider Jet Center. Rider said he was a former student of the late Barbara Ingram and is a supporter of the arts.

His company has been in the hot-air balloon business since 1982, so the Take Flight II project it seemed a good way for him to give back, he said.

Rider said he chose to sponsor the work of Kellie Mele titled "Maryland's Mother Nature" at the $5,000 level.

 He said he chose the piece because "its a very attractive balloon."

Courtney Lancaster, an artist from Greencastle, Pa., had two of her renderings sponsored.

Her piece, "Sky's the Limit," was sponsored by Bowman Hospitality, and "Take Off" was sponsored by Dynamark/Atlantic Security.

"I'm excited and thrilled to get started," she said.

Lancaster said she was told the balloons need to be completed by the end of March.

A completed balloon titled "School of Dreams" by artist David E. Monet, sponsored by the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, was on display Friday. It featured the art school framed by a dark cityscape.

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