Suggest Lift’s Next Location

Big Projects, Beginning to End, Lift, News from the Shop

Lift has been on exhibition in Scottsdale, Arizona for nearly 5 months and it feels like no time at all!


The exhibition wraps up in early August and Lift will be relocated to a new city, so be sure to drop by and visit the piece at 7373 E Scottsdale Mall while you still can!


If you’re a fan of lift living outside of Scottsdale, where do you want to see Lift shown next?


Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


Here’s a post I made for Reddit with lots of lovely process images ofย  Lift . Check it out and vote it up!


My name is Leslie Tharp

My name is Leslie Tharp

I make metal sculptures.

Here I am working on a deer sculpture.

And here I am again working on my latest project Lift.

Lift is a HUGE hot air balloon inspired metal installation.

Check out how I made it. I learned to weave mild steel to create big steel baskets that sit below each huge balloon.

The weave pattern is the same pattern used to weave actual hot air balloon baskets. Of course those aren’t made of metal..

You can see a short stop animation of the weaving process here.

When the baskets were finished I attached handles and coiled steel seats on top so they became public benches, stationed below each suspended balloon.

The metal was powdercoated this silky copper color to protect the steel from rusting.

Don’t they look comfy? They are.

Each basket has a suspended balloon sculpture hanging above it.

The balloons are made from aluminum hoops.

I designed the balloons to be collapsible so they can be easily transported city to city.

Look at this YouTube video of my hoisting the balloon for the first time in my backyard.

The balloons were powdercoated a bright coral pink (powdercoating is sort of like paint, but baked on).

The largest balloon is 9 feet tall.

Lift is currently being shown in Scottsdale, Arizona but will be moved to a new location in August.

Where do you think Lift should go next?

Leave your comments below and visit to see more!

And watch the original Kickstarter video here.

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I create large metal sculptures for public art, smaller items for you and your home, and teach hands on metal workshops in Gainesville, FL. Visit

10 thoughts on “Suggest Lift’s Next Location”

  1. Leslie Tharp says:

    I like that idea. I emailed them and hadn’t heard back, but maybe I’ll give it another try. I thought their museum was so great when I passed through.


  2. Kevin Groff says:

    Any possibility of the hot air balloon museum in Albuquerque, NM?


  3. Karla Addesso says:

    Ryan and I liked to visit Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, NJ when we lived there but I have no idea if they accept suggestions for installations.


  4. Leslie Tharp says:

    Tricia! Good thinking. I will look into opportunities in that area. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Tricia Culbertson says:

    Norfolk, VA?? There is a big Naval Air Station in the area (to stick with the flying theme….) And Chrysler Museum of Art is in Norfolk. Or Richmond VA has an awesome art museum, maybe a little bit bigger since it’s in the capitol city. Just some ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leslie Tharp says:

    That would be wonderful. You know where to find me if he wants to discuss the details. Thank you Karen!


  7. Karen Koegel says:

    Leslie, How about if I send this to Gil now and ask him what he thinks?


  8. Leslie Tharp says:

    Karen, if I bring the sculpture back to Gainesville we should try to arrange an installation there. I would love to exhibit the piece locally!


  9. Karen Koegel says:



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