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Up To Date

Balloon Artist Takes On Microscopic Animals

Willy Chyr is not your typical balloon artist. While wiener dogs, flamingos, and funny hats are fine for your average balloon-twister, Chyr is more likely to take on microscopic organisms and blow them up to a monumental scale.

Friday in the second half of Up to Date, Steve Kraske welcomes Willy Chyr to talk about his new balloon work hanging in the Lawrence Arts Center and about elevating the art form of balloon animals to new heights and the attraction to microscopic life forms.

Plus, balloon artist James Wiske (better known as "The Amazing Chris" joins us in-studio for a live demonstration of balloon artistry.

Think you can stump our balloon artists? Call/write/Tweet in and request a sculpture, we'll make it on-air, and post the pictures on KCUR's Facebook Page! Our number: 816 235 2888, email uptodate@kcur.org, or Tweet us @KCURUptoDate.

SEE MORE: Willy Chyr's work can be seen at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS 66044

Willy Chyr is interested in generative art, storytelling, and the intersection of art and science. He holds a B.A. degree in Physics and Economics from the University of Chicago. While a student at the University, Willy joined Le Vorris & Vox Circus and performed as a juggler, unicyclist, and magician. It was during his time in the circus that Willy learned how to twist balloons. He is currently based in Chicago.

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Up To DateArts & Culture
Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
After growing up on the east coast and spending his first professional years in classical music, Stephen moved to Kansas City in 1995 expecting to leave after a few years. (Clearly that didn't happen.) More than two decades and three kids later, he doesn't regret his decision to stick around. Stephen began his career in public radio as a classical music host. As the founding producer of Up to Date with Steve Kraske, he received a number of local and national awards for his work on the program. Since 2014 he's overseen KCUR's broadcast operations. When Stephen isn't at KCUR's studios, he's probably adding more stamps to his passport with his KU professor wife and their three kids. His son almost made him cry during a drive through the Rockies when he said at age 8: "Dad, can we listen to public radio?" Sniff sniff.