Inflatables Enchant at San Francisco's Exploratorium

Air elevates the artworks at the colossal "Inflatable" exhibit.

INFLATABLES AND SUMMERTIME? It hardly seems possible to saunter by a swimming pool in warm weather and not spy a unicorn or swan drifting across the water's service (mind you, not a real unicorn or swan, but rather colorful floaties filled with air). Bigger inflatables pop up at hotels and water parks and certain ocean-close resorts, giving us the chance to slide and climb and relax in the sun, if that's how we choose to interact with an enormous, inflated, on-the-water play gym. But there's a place where you can go to encounter a host of inflatables, and while this encounter will occur during the summer, no water is involved. Well, that's not entirely true, for San Francisco Bay is just steps from the world-famous Exploratorium, where a line-up of massive inflatable artworks are holding eye-catching court all summer season long. And we do mean "season," for the final day is Labor Day 2018 (and not the last day of official summer). Eager to behold the beautiful behemoths that are part of...

"INFLATABLE"? You only need to call upon the science-loving institution to eye the enchanting "Expanding Works of Art." The pieces, like Amanda Parer's "Fantastic Planet," a humongous human-like shape that appears curious and gentle, fill both the outdoor areas near the Exploratorium as well as inside spaces. "(A) forest of cushiony columns" from Jimmy Kuehnle is another wowza addition, but there are several to admire. "Fueled by whimsy and lightness of balloons, the artists of 'Inflatable' have infused their creations with a technology, scale, and creative complexity that expands our vision of what contemporary art can look like," is the spirited statement from the Exploratorium. Inflatable aficionados, be sure to visit these airy and giant gems on or before Sept. 3, 2018.

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