Have you heard about Dala Horses? Named for Sweden's Dalarna province, these carved wooden figurines depict stout, brightly painted horses with colorful decorative trim. Originally designed as a children's toy, they've become a symbol of Sweden.
So, it's fitting that the Minneapolis-based American Swedish Institute should request an inflatable Dala Horse to highlight its ongoing exhibit, "extra/ordinary: the American Swedish Institute. At Play."
The Institute turned to St. Paul-based Split Rock Studios to create its art installation. And Split Rock, in turn, asked Landmark Creations to build the inflatable replica.
According to Split Rock Project Manager Niki Murray, "We were hoping for a showstopping piece that would closely resemble a real wooden Dala Horse."
Landmark delivered exactly that. The finished custom inflatable stands 22 feet high and 18.3 feet wide and weighs in at 134 pounds. Colored bright red – the classic Dala Horse hue – it's adorned with a traditional Scandinavian pattern.
The American Swedish Institute loved it. And so did the people at Split Rock Studios.
"The Dala Horse turned out beautifully," reports Murray. "It was a social media magnet and fit in with the rest of the exhibition perfectly."
Why did Split Rock choose Landmark Creations to craft the inflatable mascot? Says Murray, "Landmark is a trusted partner of ours. We wouldn't think of going anywhere else."