Longview Public Library unveils steel balloon sculpture for city’s upcoming sesquicentennial

Longview Public Library unveils steel balloon sculpture for city’s upcoming sesquicentennial
The Longview Public Library unveiled its Liftoff2020! Balloon sculpture Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. The steel balloons are part of the city's sesquicentennial celebration. (Jamey Boyum/KLTV Multimedia Journalist) (Source: Jamey Boyum/KLTV)

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Longview Public Library has just become of an exclusive group. They unveiled its very own Liftoff2020! Balloon sculpture.

KLTV 7’s Jamey Boyum spoke with Micah Ruland, the painter who turned the library balloon and one other, into a work of art.

“Quite a few images on there to look at. Most of it celebrates libraries and books and pinpoints Peggy Coughlin for her donations and her inspiration to the city as a whole,” Ruland said.

"What do you think about the whole liftoff!2020 thing?” I asked her.

“I think it’s fantastic, actually. This is a good opportunity for businesses in the community to A, get noticed and B, foster a greater sense of community as a whole. This has really helped me as an individual to just learn more about the city that I live in. I think this just being one of the projects that they are doing for the entirety of the sesquicentennial is great,” Ruland said.

“As for painting on a balloon’s surface, I do a lot of murals and windows and that kind of thing so the scale wasn’t too bad. It was a little odd with the curvature, but again it’s a slight learning curve but once you get it, it goes a lot easier. So this is one of two that I’ve done that are out officially to view. Maude Cobb has theirs out at their building facility. So this will be a project to kind of stretch out a little bit and I’m sure as more balloons go up more businesses are hopefully going to be inspired to purchase that kind of thing and contact me and a few of the other artists that are working on it. And get something good out to look at and beautify Longview more than it already is. To add something to the view,” Ruland said.

This is the fourth steel balloon put in place in Longview, and there are four more in the works.

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