I'm a mom to two young girls. I’ve been to a few pop ups in my time. Some are unapologetic cash grabs (there was nothing immersive or thoughtful about the Happy Go Lucky pop up we did last month). Others are creative ways to market a product (we loved the FREE Candle Power by Yankee Candle pop up last winter - even included a few Yankee Candles in our holiday gift shopping that year). Still others become viral sensations, even if you’re not sure whether they earned that high status or not (The Museum of Ice Cream was cute but not that cute). The latest pop up to capitalize on the human desire for a killer Instagram selfie is the 21 and over Rosé Mansion opening tomorrow in NYC....
Only one pop up that I've done would make it into my personal “DO NOT MISS” category. And, my friends, that was the Color Factory.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Color Factory, it may be because this pop up only happened in San Francisco. If you haven't yet heard of "pop ups" generally, you should really better acquaint yourself with modern day marketing techniques 😉.
The Color Factory is an immersive, bright celebration of color. It's for adults and kids alike. It's for the Instagram junkie and contemporary art fan alike. Conceived by Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day fame, the Color Factory describes itself as “a collaborative experiential exhibit designed to awaken audiences to the everyday yet brilliant presence of color." Where the Color Factory manages to differentiate itself from the Pop Up Pack is in its attention to detail, its commitment to its glorious theme and its roster of legitimate artistic and creative talent. Each room in the San Francisco exhibit highlighted a new color and tasked a professional artist with showcasing that color. The results were delightful, engaging and, at times, even thought provoking.
We snagged tickets to the Color Factory for our vacation to SF last summer. My kids loved drawing on the walls in the Green Room and rolling around in the multicolored confetti blowing all over another room. My favorite room was British artist Tom Stayte’s Purple “Selfie” Room, where a computer in the center of the room instantaneously prints (on purple paper, of course) any picture posted to Instagram with the hashtag #selfie. The Blue Room had a gorgeous all blue balloon installation by balloon artist Geronimo - I'm now a balloon obsessive, thanks to her. And the pièce de résistance, the Yellow Room, aka the Finale, aka A GIANT ALL YELLOW BALL PIT AND ALL YELLOW GIFT SHOP AND AN ALL YELLOW MINI ICE CREAM CONE SAMPLE ON YOUR WAY OUT!!
The Color Factory closed in SF a few months ago. So why am I sharing all this with you?? Because the Color Factory is coming to NYC next month!! Hooray! It's going to be awesome. And don’t worry, the team has assured New York that the installations and artists for this run will be all brand new - which means we’ll be going back ourselves!
Hit the Color Factory’s website to get yourself on the mailing list so you're in the know when ticket information is released in the next few weeks. And once tickets do go on sale, don’t hesitate to buy - the SF runs sold out quickly. I promise, this will be a good one.
P.S. To tide you over until August, Geronimo currently has her first non-latex balloon installation up at Pier 17 in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, and in the garden at the Cooper Hewitt on East 91st Street, the Color Factory has a "Color Walk" installment that features the 265 colors seen on each of the 265 streets that make up the Borough of Manhattan. Both activities are free and going on through the summer.