The Balloon Boys (not to be confused with the BalloonBoy) is a team of young illustrators who all attend the NC State College of Design and today their massive wall covering on a parking deck is officially unveiled. The work is the result of a juried competition hosted by Empire Properties and the Wake County Commissioners. The illustration wraps around the exposed corner of the Wake County Convention Center Parking Garage wall. This expanse was a barren concrete wall, intended to be covered by an Empire Properties office/retail building called the "L Building." In October Empire asked to keep the land but push the project back to late 2013, and county commissioners granted the company that extension.
The fantasy illustration smartly takes advantage of the 20,000 square feet it covers by giving viewers both near and far differing experiences. There are 15 panels in total, and each is tied together with flying vehicles and fantasy creatures passing through. Each panel has its own focused motif and color scheme but all tie together to create a larger image that paints a rainbow across the building. The illustration was chosen from a selection of entries from NC State College of Design Students by Greg Hatem and Andrew Stewart of Empire Properties with assistance from artist, curator and Empire Employee Tracy Spencer.
The three artists: Joe Lawson, Justin T. Philips, and Jordan Deva, won a $2500 prize for their efforts. Read more about their collaborative: http://theballoonboys.com/
Empire Properties along with Wake County Libraries will host a reception tonight at 5pm on the corner of Davie and McDowell. See the mural there anytime over the next 2-3 years.
Video on the artists:
Correction: 8-5-2011 Corrected type of building from hotel to mixed use, grammar.