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Art installation at Huntington Mall sparks huge response

Apr. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

BARBOURSVILLE -- The "Hope Blossoms" art installation at the Huntington Mall will be exhibited longer than planned because of overwhelming response from the community, according to a news release from the Huntington Mall. The installation was created by Germany-based artist Kelly O'Brien, who created the piece for the microWave project. It was unveiled Dec. 8 in the mall's Center Court.

The "Hope Blossoms" installation is made primarily out of paper, with more than 8,000 paper flowers making up a swan dancer. A tree with handmade cherry blossoms was inspired by the artist's hometown of Washington, D.C. As a classically trained dancer, O'Brien also draws ideas from ballet. This piece is based on "Swan Lake's" Odette and Odile, who embody the dichotomy of white and black, light and dark.

The art sculpture was originally slated to remain on display until June 1, but the run has been extended through July. People write what they hope for on paper and place it in the hope pond at Huntington Mall's center court.

Visitors to the Huntington Mall can create or adopt a crane. The cost to "adopt" a crane will be a $1 donation, with all proceeds going to the building of the Hoops Family Children's Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The art activity is inspired by the Japanese tradition of senbazuru, a promise that a person who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish such as a long life or recovery from an illness. If the Huntington Mall receives 1,000 origami cranes, the cranes will be displayed throughout the mall from the new skylights.

The Hope Blossoms art display will come down on July 22, and will be up for silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Hoops Family Children's Hospital project. The bidding on the swan will begin June 22, and there will be an art fair at the mall that day.

Entertainment planned for June 22 will include ballet and musical performances, and an opportunity for artists to set up booths to showcase what they do and provide customers an opportunity to purchase fine art. Each artist will also provide an item for the silent auction.

To learn more about how to participate, contact the mall's marketing director, Margi MacDuff, at 304-733-0492, Ext. 109.