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Behind the Scenes: 5 questions with our Artist-in-Residence Maria Galura

Jun 12, 2019

Maria Galura is our artist-in-residence for TEDxYYC, and the founder of Calgary Party 50, a party business that has been delivering happiness in a bin since 2015. Her company’s goal is to provide quick, chic, and fun party wares, including giant and bespoke balloon installations.

In 2018, many Calgarians will remember her Beakerhead installation “Dreams Never Die”, which covered an old house in Victoria Park in an assortment of multi-coloured balloons, resembling the home from the Pixar’s “UP.”

We connected with Maria to ask her a few questions before we see her installation at TEDxYYC 2019:

1. What is your background?

“I am an Industrial Engineer by profession, specializing in planning and scheduling. It was a “eureka” moment for me to be an artist!

I have always wondered what would make people happy, and balloons are on the list, if I may say. I’m a self-taught balloon artist and this medium brings me joy.”

2. What or who inspires your work?

“My art installation pieces are based on community building and my life’s journey. You may think being in a dark place 20 years ago had no bearing at that time. Fast forward, it was that moment that gave you all the tenacity today. You will always remember a happy moment with a loved one – that you continually partake this feeling to the people around you because it is but natural to pay it forward.

Best and challenging times are given tribute through balloon art. Once it’s shown to the world, it will perpetually be a happy memory as it brought joy and delight to spectators of all ages.”

3. What brought you to TEDxYYC/inspired you to apply to be our Artist-in-Residence?

“I love learning and TEDx has always been a great resource, hands down. Attending a sold-out event in 2016 by divine providence, I knew in my heart I would be a part of TEDx one day. Sending the application is one of the rewarding and heartfelt essays I have written as 2019’s theme speaks to me – YOU ARE HERE. I am HERE. I will do this. I am honoured to do a piece for TEDxYYC.”

4. What moves you to create on such a grand scale? And why balloons?

“We do things out of love. Love is felt from the tiniest of effort to the grand extra mile. Each has a language of love to share with the world. Through balloons, each size represents the moments we express love and collectively it would bring about one picture: LIFE

It is what we do every day, be it 17 years ago or what we plan to do in retirement that makes us, moves us. I chose balloons to represent those. Through a grand scale of balloon art installation, it will be captured.

My thoughts and background of designing a piece may not speak literally and come verbatim to my audience at an instant. However, once they ought to read about it, relate with it and most especially enjoy it, I am but humbled.”

5. What 3 words would you use to describe what we’ll see at TEDxYYC?

“Time in Balloons”

Her latest installations, “Kalimbahin” and “Tropicalla”, included hundreds of balloons installed as part of Southcentre mall’s #CHROMAYYC public art installation, which you’ve definitely seen on Instagram.

Learn more about Maria Galura, and don’t miss the chance to see her work live at TEDxYYC! Grab your tickets today!

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