Inside the Basket - Kevin Short, Balloon Fiesta Poster Artist
August 14, 2023
Kevin Short is the 2023 Balloon Fiesta poster artist.
In this month’s Inside the Basket, he shares some of his unique ties to the event, a ballooning record that he holds himself and more about this year’s piece.
1. Give a brief overview of yourself and how you came to attend the 50th Balloon Fiesta.
My name is Kevin Short and I am the artist who created this year’s Balloon Fiesta Poster. I became involved with Balloon Fiesta many years ago. As a family, my mother was a balloon pilot and my father was a balloon pilot. We first saw Balloon Fiesta, when it was very small. Because the Albuquerque community was very small and very outstanding at the same time, we started going to watch anyone who had a balloon. It was so unique and stunning at the time. We went and started talking to pilots. My father got his license and my mother got her license and then I wanted one and so I took lessons myself. It was wonderful. My mom at one time was also president of the Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors.
2. In addition to Balloon Fiesta’s poster artist, you hold the title of youngest hot air balloon pilot in the United States. When did this happen and what was it like?
In 1977 I was the youngest hot-air balloon pilot in the United States. Flying was new to me at the time, other than having ridden in planes. Being able to float in the sky was a translation from my younger days, sailing on the ocean. The sky opened up the world to me similarly as an ocean that was in three dimensions.
3. You also have another unique tie to Balloon Fiesta, as one of the creators of the original “Fiesta” balloon. How did this come about?
My balloon instructor was Bob Ruppenthal, a legend in the ballooning community. And he and I started talking about art and design often. He had an opening at a newly formed company, AERCO, and one of his projects was different designs for hot air balloons. He had this idea of making one of these innovative balloons for Balloon Fiesta. We created one that had innovative venting systems and connections, all things that are now common today.
4. Being Balloon Fiesta’s poster artist has been a dream of yours for a long time. How does it feel to have been selected to create the art?
When I was in high school, I submitted some designs for Balloon Fiesta’s poster but did not have the skills needed to create a beautiful Balloon Fiesta poster. It was always a dream to do this poster. And to be honest, I had put this dream to bed. And then one of the board members contacted me and asked me if I would consider doing the poster and I realized, I do still have that dream. So I am very excited to be doing it.
5. What was your inspiration for this year’s poster?
This year’s poster is the sunrise as balloons are flying over Albuquerque and are heading towards the Rio Grande Valley.
I was inspired by the sunrise and the light that shines through the hot air balloons during Balloon Fiesta.
The official Balloon Fiesta poster can be purchased at Balloon Fiesta’s Gift Shop, at www.balloonfiestastuff.com and at Official Balloon Fiesta Merchandise Tents during Balloon Fiesta.
Categories: Inside the Basket