To borrow a phrase from the movie King Kong, "size does matter."
The AKA Miniature Kite Art Gallery was a four day display in the Muncie Convention Center in Muncie Indiana. From October 6 through October 9, 1999, the well-lit room was filled with people and tables covered with miniature kites.
After four months of preparation, two days of setup, 20 tables, 1800 square feet of space, two flying machines, one wind tunnel, one flying arena... 60 people submitted kites for a grand total of...
....800 kites on display!
We wanted to show the beauty and diversity of miniatures. There were miniature kites of all kinds. This was the largest display of miniature kites ever assembled.
Here I am, Glenn Davison; Gallery Curator, ready to greet people as they entered the gallery. Next to me are four cases displaying some of the miniature kites I've built. To the right of the photo are four eddy kites in flight. The eddy kites and the flying machine are made by Paul Berard.
(Click to enlarge all photos.)
People admiring the displays from the Drachen Foundation.
Here's the gallery filled with visitors.
Are they admiring the workmanship? Notice the green dragonfly, the cody, the butterflies, and the tiny dragonfly on the left.
Here's a photo of the flying arena. This section of the gallery was specifically designed to allow people to try a selected set of miniatures ...including this smile inducing miniature Rokkaku kite.
This kite by Stephen Millner reminds me of a leaf in Fall. Note the gold foil and bamboo.
Here's Charlie Sotich, the third from the left in the plaid shirt. Charlie had about eight display cases and hundreds of his amazing kites. Notice in the bottom center he has kite trains and kite arches in red/white/blue and orange/green. The kite gallery was also an underground effort to get Charlie to clean out his basement. (smile)
A three inch fluted sled kite made of yellow tissue paper.
Two kites by one of my favorite artists, Guy Gosselin of France. The kite on the top left is a Roller, the kite in the center is his own design. Unique design and excellent workmanship.
Beautiful display cases that were brought to the Gallery from Canada by Yves Laforest. Two of them display some of the finest work by Charlie Sotich.
Here's a closeup of the "Seven Sisters" kite from the tall display above. Note the very fine slivers bamboo used as spars.
A beautiful cellular design by Tom McAlister.
Perfect for Halloween... a witch kite, complete with a spider stuck in the cobweb tails. (who made this kite?)
A miniature line climber in the form of a butterfly. This was one of 20 kites brought from Japan especially for the exhibit.
Below you see a selection of miniature winders to hold the kite line. Silk, cotton, polyester, and nylon thread are all used.
"We met at the AKA convention and toured through your wonderful gallery. You did a great job! The Egyptian motif miniature by Charlie Sotich that I won at the raffle now has a place of honor in my office." - Angela Chau
"People really got a charge out of this!" - Paul Berard
"At the recent AKA Convention in Muncie, I was one of the many who were proclaiming your praises for the wonderful collection of miniatures that you acquired and coordinated." - Kristi Kent-Bracken; Kites on Ice
"I enjoyed your show as everyone did." -Bill Sonntag
"It's killer. A week ago I didn't know it existed and now I'm hooked. Thank you, thank you, thank you." -Virginia Hansen
"It went great!" -Adena Schutzburg
"I can't tell you how impressed I am." - Corey Jenson
"To get the kites to grow, you have to feed them Purina Kite Chow." - Glenn Davison
Beautiful kites in such a wide variety. Most of these span only three inches. "There were so many thing here that were so fascinating." - Charlie Sotich
Here are some of the kites made by Philippe Robert of Florida. Beautiful work, all done on Icarex. Note the itty-bitty Cody.
Jim Barber said "I talked with my wife, Monica, and she saw the exhibit, and said it was awesome! Great job!"
"Glorious!" - Richard Dermer; AKA President
Character kites by Robert Trepanier and cyclists by Paul Berard.
Below is a beautiful display where each panel features a different artist.
Here is the flying machine with a train of four Eddy kites by Paul Berard. In the "Final AKA Convention Update, Phil of Kite Lines said, "Has anyone mentioned the Kite Art Gallery? Way to go Glenn Davison for the incredible display of miniatures. Coolest were the motorized rotary kiteflyers, which kept kites flying around the room all the time. I want one for my living room, just to exercise my dog."
Below you see a view of an experimental wind tunnel. Note the yellow kite flying in the center with the fan pulling the air (not pushing it) through the tube.
Paul Berard did a workshop one afternoon in front of the Gallery entrance. Other days he made random appearances in the Hotel lobby or Convention Center.
Here is a miniature stunt kite that you can fly with a single hand. Made with nylon fabric and microcarbon rods, you hold the control bar and use your wrist to control the kite. The kite is a commercial product made in Austria by Alfred Schwarz.
(Click to enlarge all photos.)
All styles of kites from many different countries such as Germany, Austria, France, Canada, China, and others. Hundreds of visitors attended, many of whom returned again and again.
"And they all FLY?" ....that's an easy question. The answer is "Yes."
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