ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two Albuquerque balloon artists are representing New Mexico in an international event. A local balloon shop just took part in an “immersive balloon build.” 

“You have dogs water skiing. You have bees making honey. You have raccoons camping,” said Brent Olson, an artist. 

Brent and Jennifer Olson are owners of “On the Rise Balloon Shop” in Albuquerque. 

Last Saturday, they flew to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to participate in an international project for charity and spent the week building their contribution. 

The Olsons joined 70 balloon artists from all over the world to create an immersive balloon display. 

“Seeing a balloon project on this scale, we’ve never seen anything quite like that before.”

The project is raising funds for the charity known as Inspiration Ministries and Inspired Coffee. It helps employ people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. 

Organizers of the Big Balloon Build said they’ve already raised more than $85,000 for the charity. 

Once the event ends, more than 120,000 of the biodegradable balloons will be donated to art schools to turn them into mosaics. 

“This work of art is now going to be given another life as another piece of art and give an opportunity for young artists to be able to use a different medium in their kind of artistic development,” explained Big Balloon Director Stuart Davies. 

The event is now open and runs until Sunday. The Olsons said the most rewarding part of the event was that they were helping others. 

“Really knowing that we’re making a difference here in the community and helping adults with disabilities and raising money for that cause, and so they can get out into the workforce and be their best selves,” said Jennifer Olson.  

The next Big Balloon Build will be held in Greeley, Colorado, in July. The theme for that event will be space.