(visit on your own) While on a plane bound to Mexico City from Miami in 2008, local artist Alejandro Mendoza had one of those rare “aha” moments. His vision: giant sculptures you could pack in a flight bag. His flash of inspiration resulted in the project “
Giants in the City
,” in which Mendoza and his cohorts use inflatable media to create public art projects on a grand scale. Fabricated from a lightweight yet durable nylon taffeta and maintained upright by tethers to the ground, the colossal, balloon-like monuments produced for Mendoza’s nomadic sculpture garden soar upward of 40 feet. Since the project debuted during Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2008, Mendoza and his international “Giants in the City” collaborators have exhibited the lofty initiative worldwide. This weekend, you can marvel at the titanic and colorful sculptures as they invade Bayfront Park as part of DWNTWN Art Days. Organized by the Miami Downtown Development Authority and now in its second edition, Art Days transforms the area into a winding corridor of eclectic offerings presented by local galleries, artist spaces, museums, theaters, and other venues and organizations. This year, the three-day culture fest, which opens Friday and wraps up Sunday, will include “The Fringe,” a series of indie curated projects staged in unexpected public places featuring dramatic performances. Live music, sculptural installations, murals, and engaging interactive events will also take place across downtown Miami.