Immersive art exhibit showcases massive balloon sculptures, poignant paintings

Immersive art exhibit showcases massive balloon sculptures, poignant paintings

A giant balloon sculpture
Photo courtesy Creative Pinellas

A new gallery from an internationally-acclaimed creator is showcasing visually stunning works of art in St. Pete. Open now through October 16 at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas, DARKMATTER is an immersive exhibition of works by globally celebrated sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist Jason Hackenwerth.

The exhibition features close to 100 unique pieces, while two massive sculptures made of latex balloons anchor the show, creating a breathtaking opening act for the gallery experience. The entire exhibition showcases more than 20 years of Hackenwerth’s creations, including huge paintings and a scintillating retrospective of more than 50 drawings and images.


Creative Pinellas CEO Barbara St. Clair described DARKMATTER as “a larger-than-life, captivating experience” produced by one of the country’s preeminent multi-disciplinary artists. The gallery is free and open to the public every Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5 pm at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, adjacent to the Florida Botanical Gardens. Artwork is also available for sale at the gallery and online through a virtual gallery.

Science and technology meet art and inspiration

Attendees examining a balloon sculpture
Photo courtesy Creative Pinellas

The title of the science and technology-inspired exhibition, DARKMATTER, came from Hackenwerth’s musings on the concepts of dark matter, which resulted in “the idea for a sculpture that will be a powerful tool to help us all grasp the idea of the unseen force that is holding our universe together.” The timing is particularly poignant as CERN has just started its search for dark matter in earnest.

Hackenwerth works have been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, and he says this newest exhibition will take viewers on an awe-inspiring journey from turbulence and drama to transcendence and joy. The artists promises intrigue and surprise in a gallery that explores the realities of our society and humanity – good and bad.

“This show is meant to be an example of how even after our world is torn in two, the way we rebuild it reflects our commonality,” Hackenwerth said. “I think people are conditioned to see things through a lens of duality. Good/bad, right/wrong. I hope that people will spend enough time in this show to recognize the idea of a higher perspective that can see the fracture in our society but can also glimpse the larger reality that if we let go of our dualistic thoughts, we are all the same.”

Creative Pinellas uplifts art and artists throughout the county

Creative Pinellas’ mission is to foster and sustain a vibrant, inclusive, and collaborative arts community across Pinellas County. The organization provides support, connection, and opportunities to artists, organizations, and the public in order to grow and sustain the area as an internationally recognized arts and cultural destination.


As the County’s Local Arts Agency, Creative Pinellas and the programs it delivers are funded by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Visit St Petersburg-Clearwater, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and by sales of the State of the Arts specialty license plate in Pinellas County.

Learn more at

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