The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

chc logo

The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

CHAT Goes Big with Larger-than-Life Balloon Sculpture

CHAT Goes Big with Larger-than-Life Balloon Sculpture

students with balloon Griffin
Students pose with the balloon Griffin in McCaffery Lounge. From left: Courtney Weidner ’16, Vincent Manzella ’15, Kelly McKenna ’15, Samantha Pauls ’15, Rebecca Gilborges ’18, Kayla Reno ’16, Christina Mangeri ’16 and Allen Umberhauer ’15.
Marilee Gallagher '14

As part of the Chestnut Hill College Activities Team’s (CHAT) ‘5 Days of Awesome,’ the College welcomed Brian Getz, renowned balloon artist, to campus to build a massive — almost 10-foot-tall — sculpture of CHC’s beloved mascot, the Griffin.

Meg Cranney, assistant director of student activities, first heard of Getz and his unique talent while at the Association for Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Conference last year.

“I met him and he was showing off his work,” Cranney says. “All of the students at the conference were so interested and his work was amazing. I thought it would be a fun event to bring to CHC, to have him build this larger-than-life Griffin.”

Getz arrived on campus early on April 15 and quickly got to work on his masterpiece, which was built right in the corner of the McCaffery Lounge.

“It was great having him build it right there because there is always so much foot traffic,” Cranney says. “People were walking by and admiring it. Everybody just kind of stopped in and loaned a hand, too, which was great.”

In all, the sculpture took Getz and his 15 volunteers, many of them from CHAT and the Student Activities Office (SAO), seven hours to build. By the time it was finished, at close to 5 p.m., everyone was in awe of the finished product.

“In the beginning of the day it was just us surrounded by tons of little balloons,” Cranney says. “But by the end, it was amazing. It was so interesting and unlike anything we had ever seen before.”

Sister Carol with balloons representing her and Kostka and Griffin.
Sister Carol poses with balloon representations of herself and her dogs, Kostka and Griffin.
Meg Cranney

While Getz worked straight through the day on his balloon art, creating the Griffin wasn’t the only thing he did during his visit. Included among the many things he made for students, Getz completed a lovely balloon creation of College President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., and her dogs, Griffin and Kostka.

“It was fun getting out to Chestnut Hill and working with all of the students, being able to use everyone’s skills to make something that would be impossible without that teamwork,” Getz said after the event. “I had a blast and have been bragging about them to all of the other schools I work with.”

For more on Getz’s work, visit his website.

- Marilee Gallagher '14