The Herd is proud to announce that three new non-profit partners have joined to help out and roll along with us at Light City 2018!

This installation will float over 375 luminous solar powered inflatable swim rings in Baltimore Harbor for the Light City Festival. What, you might ask, do you do with 375 luminous beings after the spectacle is over?

I wanted to make sure that The Herd, for all it’s fun and goofiness, would not be putting even more plastic into our waterways, and that it can serve as a rallying point for everyone who hopes for a cleaner, healthier harbor, and a better, brighter Baltimore.

The inflatables used in The Herd will be for sale during the Light City 2018 Festival. All proceeds, after taxes and shipping will be donated to three non-profit partners: Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative, the Baltimore-based performance group Fluid Movement, and the Living Classrooms Foundation

Being able to work with these organizations means a lot to me. I admire their work, and some of them have been instrumental in my move to Baltimore 20 years ago. Let's meet them.


Founded in Baltimore in 1985, Living Classrooms Foundation has grown into an educational and economic force that combines one of the city's most cherished assets - its beautiful and historic harbor - with some of its most overlooked - the thousands of bright, ambitious children and young adults who are struggling to succeed against terrible odds. The Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) Program was one of my first experiences working with the community in Baltimore, and you can still see some of the murals we worked on in Harbor East at the Meyer Seed Company.

Photo: Matthew Bellemare

Photo: Matthew Bellemare

Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative brings innovative solutions to cleaning and greening Baltimore's communities. Their Healthy Harbor Plan, established in 2011 is a 10-year strategy for making the Inner Harbor safe for fishing and swimming, seeking to hold city and state lawmakers accountable for the health of our waterways through the Healthy Harbor Report Card and grassroots actions like the Baltimore Floatilla and Alley Makeover Projects throughout the city. They might be best known for their solar-powered trash wheel project, aka Mr. Trash Wheel. Mr. Wheel is now a bigger Baltimore celebrity than Spiro Agnew, with his own Twitter Feed and Facebook Profile. The Herd is proud to be next door neighbors with Mr. Trash Wheel at Light City 2018.


Fluid Movement is a Baltimore-based performance art group that juxtaposes complex subject matter with delightful and unexpected mediums. They create art that is accessible, (and often educational) for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. They are one of the first groups that I worked with upon arriving in Baltimore, designing the programs for one of their first events, an interpretation of Bizet's Carmen, featuring an all hot-dog cast. This group was instrumental in establishing my design practice here—and I ended up doing a lot of design work for them to pay the bills in those early days. Fluid Movement will be joining The Herd in a series of interpretive dance performances that are sure to be delightful!

All three of these organizations will benefit directly from the proceeds from selling these inflatables. The sale and distribution of the piece is an effective way to promote these non-profits, re-iterate the goal of a healthy harbor, and celebrate Baltimore's creative, offbeat vitality.  Finally, it ensures that the piece will have a life of its own after the festival, and that the materials used in fabricating the piece would be put to a good (and fun) re-use.

For more information about my project, The Herd: An inflatable host seeking safe harbor, please visit to find out what it’s about, and how you can help!