It was standing room only. Surrounded by kites from artists around the world, the crowd filled the seats of The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, Florida to hear artist Enrique Cay speak of his art and experience with the giant kites of Guatemala. His paintings depict the experience of kiting in Guatemalan culture. With the help of an interpreter, Enrique was able to explain kiting’s connection to the Day of the Dead celebration and its reflection in his art. This was all part of a month-long gallery installation and series of events entitled “World’s Greatest Kiting” international kite art exhibition and celebration.
This exciting, immersive exhibition featured a wide variety of innovative, unique, and handmade kites and related items from artists around the world. The display included popular sport models to handmade works of art, historical kites to contemporary one-of-a-kind designs, providing hundreds of viewers a new experience with kites. Also included in the show was a conceptual kite display entitled “Concrete Kite” which featured local artists’ conceptions of a kite using their unique medium. As a part of an installation of Patrick Tan’s iFlite kites, two iFlites were able to be removed and flown by anyone interested, which not only created a unique interactive experience for the public, but also connected many in our community to a new interest.
The schedule of events began with a gallery preview in early September including a panel discussion with Bruce Flora of Kiteman Productions, John Lutter of Kite Stop, Tim Elverston and Ruth Whiting of Windfire Designs, and others of the local kiting community. Three kitemaking workshops, including two advanced courses facilitated by Wayne and Janet Hosking, continued throughout the month, leading to a community kite fly where many contributors to the show were able to fly together alongside new friends flying for the first time.