Pin It

Picnicking With the 'Big Lady' 

click to enlarge Stella Marrs with Big Lady - COURTESY OF DJ HELLERMAN
  • Courtesy of DJ Hellerman
  • Stella Marrs with Big Lady

At the Waterfront Shelter last Sunday, a few dozen picnickers and onlookers turned out for the phenomenon that was "Big Lady!" The 35-foot-high inflated woman, created by artist Stella Marrs, was the guest of honor at the laid-back Big Lady Picnic, organized by Burlington City Arts. Described on its website as "An event celebrating the 'World's Tallest Inflatable Woman,'" the gathering resembled a casual family party on a lazy summer afternoon, albeit one attended by a very large, silent, shiny female.

Some attendees took advantage of the provided cut-your-own red-and-white-checked tablecloths and claimed a spot in the shade. Others stood around gawking at the silver Mylar creation while DJ Takahiko Matsui cranked out tunes.

With a roundish, short-armed body filled with air and a head full of helium, Lady bobbed in the welcome breeze off Lake Champlain and didn't say a word.

Marrs, whose installations and video works address feminist and environmental issues, is a participant in BCA's upcoming "Of Land and Local" exhibit opening in September. On Sunday, she looked happy, and perhaps relieved, to have pulled off — or rather, pumped up — her inflated woman.

Marrs states she has sought to "redefine public space" with some of her projects. And that she did with this one. Big Lady's starry crown brought the Statue of Liberty to mind and — even without a torch — she briefly owned a corner of the Burlington waterfront.

Learn more about "Of Land and Local" at, and about artist Stella Marrs at

The original print version of this article was headlined "Who's That Lady?"

Related Locations

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Pamela Polston

About The Author

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston is the cofounder, coeditor and associate publisher of Seven Days.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Arts News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation