So apparently, last December while I was busy staring at Skywalkers, their insane beachfront art blimp parade in Miami Beach, the art/toy/play collective Friends With You was busy opening Rainbow Valley, their first indoor playground--right in front of Sears at the Aventura Mall.
Say what? That's right, next trip to Miami, we're going on a pilgrimage to the mall.
Rainbow Valley is where Peeko, a baby mountain, and his new-found friend Cloudy have all their adventures. The playground has some rainbow bridges and crawl-in mountains, and the whole thing is as bright and shiny and foam-covered as a nursery school wrestling mat. Like Gymboree with some conceptual credibility.
It's the first permanent installation for the FWY duo, though it's not the first playspace. In 2005, Friends With You exhibited Cloud City at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was full of climbable balls, cones, and slides. [Photos show the space inhabited by Mr. Bill's nudist cousins.]
Did I mention Rainbow Valley is in front of Sears?? When the Sears Portrait Studio commissions FWY to create some sweet pulldown backdrops, I will gladly send wallet-sized family photos to the first 100 people who want them.
Rainbow Valley photos and info: Gallery > The Latest [friendswithyou.com]
Buy the limited edition Rainbow Valley coloring book or maybe the Cloud City nursery rhyme [sic] CD is $12.98 [friendswithyou.com]
AVENTURA MALL UNVEILS ARTIST-DESIGNED INTERACTIVE PLAYGROUND AT GRAND OPENING EVENT [shopaventuramall.com]
Super Mario Mall slideshow [wired.com, apr 2007]
Interview: Getting Friendly With Friends With You [underconsideration.com]
Previously: Skywalkers Art Blimp Parade Phollowup