Category Archives: Kickstarter Projects

Carnival of Dreams in the Press

Article for Carnival of Dreams

Buy your ticket here. Please support this group of artists with your ticket purchase. It funds Public Art projects in your community.



Cirque Delights

Artist fund-raiser promises fire, stilts, live painting and more!


Carnival of Dreams Friday, March 15th, 8 p.m. • $7 Juggling Gypsy • 1612 Castle St.

STILT DANCER: Mezzanine Kowalski (with Jess James and Shannon Dunne) with stilt-dance at the Carnival of Dreams this Friday night at the Juggling Gypsy. Courtesy photo, Mezzanine Kowalski

STILT DANCER: Mezzanine Kowalski (with Jess James and Shannon Dunne) with stilt-dance at the Carnival of Dreams this Friday night at the Juggling Gypsy.  Photo credit: Leigh Moose for Side Yard Studios Photography.

The Juggling Gypsy’s reputation tends to fluctuate in this town. Labels like “hippie hookah place” or “burner dive bar” are pretty familiar to its staff. The old motto of the establishment was proudly known as “where the strange go to be normal,” and indeed the place has always drawn in a diverse crowd. But what remains is a love for creativity, and the “weird” need not be excluded.

“I love this place for a lot of reasons,” Angelo Lambiase, patron and founder of nonprofit organization Wheels That Heal, says. Lambiase has hosted numerous benefits in Wilmington through Wheels, an organization which raises money for cancer patients and the American Cancer Society through car shows and entertainment events. Among others, one of the venues Lambiase always feels he can turn to is the Gypsy.

“The culture it attracts is great,” he says, “but the people I’ve met here have been exceptional. This place has always shown immense support for our cause, and now I really want to give something back to this particular community.”

Teaming with Juggling Gypsy owner Sebastian Gomez, Lambiase and other local performers are collaborating on the Carnival of Dreams, a fund-raiser event for Cape Fear artists, or as active local painter Mezzanine Kowalski describes it: “Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on fire in our own backyards!”

With this fund-raiser, Gomez himself will participates in a fire performance on The Flaming Trampoline. He assures, while the name is somewhat self-explanatory, it is advisable to leave much open to imagination. “What we’re doing is kind of like a live Kickstarter,” Gomez continues. “There’s a community of artists that have great ideas for unique, interactive projects, and we want to see them come to life. The Carnival of Dreams will help these artists raise funds for their creative endeavors and also share with the public eye a culture that has influenced a lot of our work.”

State fairs and traveling circus shows will be the inspiration behind Carnival of Dreams—from nostalgia to brilliant, blinking lights, the pungent smell of funnel cake to the ecstatic screaming after winning a prize, the illuminated colors and dark pastel hues… Whether it’s a 4-year-old or a 40-year-old, there is wondrous appeal for all. Readily available will be a 30-foot inflatable slide and a moon bounce. There will be games, too, like Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium Balloon Boom, a dart-throwing, balloon-popping game with a pyrotechnic touch, created by local fire cirque collective Bizarre Entertainment.

“I personally see it as Tim Burton’s Disneyland without the morbidity,” Lambiase laughs. “I think this event will not only help a lot of talented artists, but it’s going to be the best way to introduce the influential culture that has shaped them.The ultimate goal is to encourage creativity from our Wilmington community.”

Performers will abound: sideshow, magic, fire, musicians, DJs, jugglers, comics and all around “freaks.” Artist and performer Mezzanine Kowalski will be appearing as a stilt-walker and will be raffling off one of her live paintings to raise funds for all the participating artists.

“The Carnival of Dreams contains so many elements that I’m attracted to and that show up a lot in my artwork,” Kowalski says. “It appeals to my artistic sensibilities and I love that it’s carnival-based, involves interactive projects and brings the community together.”

Kowalski hopes the Carnival of Dreams will assist artists and also her steam-punk and R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired project: the Beehive Disco Ball, which will “bring an element of [her] paintings into three dimensions in a glowing, spinning interactive lighting to dance under.”

“Through my art, I wish to gather people together and ignite a sense of wonder of the natural world,” she says. “The Carnival of Dreams will promote participation from everyone, and I hope it will bring out people’s inner child.”

The Carnival of Dreams will begin at 8 p.m. this Friday and is open to all ages. Admission costs $7, which will go directly to support local artists in their upcoming interactive cirque-style projects. Tickets can be purchased the day of or at

When Lambiase and Gomez first started planning the initial concept for Carnival of Dreams, they wanted it to be a cancer benefit for the American Cancer Society, and to act as a memorial to Lambiase’s late sister, Anita, who lost her life during an arduous cancer battle. They have continued pursuing this avenue by doing a reprisal of the bohemian Carnival of Dreams on March 30th.

“For those who happen to miss the Carnival of Dreams this Friday, have no fear!” Lambiase states. “There will be another chance to experience the same atmosphere and fun at Anita’s tribute and cancer benefit [at the end of the month.] People will still be supporting the art scene here and at the same time, donating their time and funds to the American Cancer Society.”


Raffle Tickets available for Live Painting at Carnival of Dreams

Kowalski Poki the the Cover - smaller file

Buy Tickets Here! For Event and or Raffle:

(Winner does not need to be present.)

Raffle of an original painting by Mezza9! Painting to be done at The Carnival of Dreams, March 15, 2013 at The Juggling Gypsy Cafe, Wilmington, NC. 7 pm to 2 am. Med-Large painting, circus floating figure theme.

Raffle time TBA.

All proceeds go to support Pollen Path: Beehive Discoball project which is at its pinnacle moment of execution.

Live Painting Raffle at Carnival of Dreams

Mezza9 will be painting Live at The Carnival of Dreams on March 15 at the Juggling Gypsy in Wilmington, NC. The event benefits several creative ventures of public art that will travel to multiple cities and festivals.
The public art funded by The Carnival of Dreams includes Mezza9’s Beehive DiscoBalls which are due out for release 2013. This is a crucial time for making last minute funding to see this project through to the completion of 6 ft tall Beehive Disco Balls of conical and organic shapes with hexagons & lights galore. $3000 funding is needed.
You do not need to be present to win the raffle. The painting will likely be medium to large and of circus or floating figures.

For details on Pollen Path Beehive Discoballs go here:
For details on the Carnival go here:
Facebook event: Carnival of Dreams

Send $20 per ticket via Pay Pal to

Carnival of Dreams, Mar 15 at The Juggling Gypsy Cafe


Pre-sale Tickets available now



Carnival of Dreams 2013
All ages, public event
Friday, March 15, 2013
8 pm – 2 am
Admission: $7
The Juggling Gypsy Café
1620 Castle Street
Wilmington, NC, 28401

Carnival of Dreams is Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on Fire! in our own backyards.

Be a part of the carnival and throw flaming darts, have your Fortune told, jump on the Trampoline of Terror and enjoy the fire dancers and more at this fundraiser to assist participating artists in generating additional funding for the creation and execution of new and interactive public art.

Just added! Sideshows!!


Carnival of Dreams is Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on Fire! in our own backyards.

Carnival of Dreams 2013 is a fundraising event for artists of the Cape Fear area and beyond, to assist participating artists in generating additional funding for the creation and execution of new and interactive public art.

Artist Mezza9, describes Carnival of Dreams as “community building through art and an opportunity for individual expression where no idea is too wild!”

This one-day interactive event, open to the public, is held for the purpose of generating physical and financial resources for juried art projects. A flaming dart throw “Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium Balloon Boom” and the Fortune Telling Confessional Booth are de rigueur. There is also rumored to be a trampoline of fire, a spinning wheel of death, sledgehammer and more in the works. The offerings at this event will be of similar ilk: carnival games with rewards by the community of artists, bohemians, fire spinners, sideshow performers, jugglers, singers, and belly dancers who frequent the Juggling Gypsy; making the entire event a colorful spectacle of the splendor of Wilmington’s Fringe. Translation: superb people watching!

This eclectic and energetic tribe invites the public not only to attend and view what‘s up-and-coming but also to participate: jump on the flaming trampoline, ride the enormous see-saw, throw the flaming darts to pop the balloons; and take your chances!

Although the primary placements of this art will be at two unique grassroots festivals in North Carolina, most of them are intended as public art and will have many innovative showings in the area over a lifespan. The value of public art to our community can not be underestimated. This event is a vehicle for generating the additional funding and manpower to generate the completion of projects that have been selected for their interactivity, innovation and general wow! factor by a jury of the artists’ peers.

This event is unique for its artists’ collaboration and community support. These artists support and encourage each other. As public art projects, there’s not likely a monetary or consumer goal for the creators. Instead the art is fueled by passions and convictions that the world can be our design. The grand scale of the projects lend them ultimately to the possibility of travel to Burning Man.

Art and Artists:

These enigmatic and talented artists have conjured and are spearheading this event. They have diverse backgrounds but share common values of decommodification, sustainability, regeneration and practice the 10 principles set forth by Burning Man.

Each artist is available for interview. To give a taste of what will be offered, we offer you some highlights:

Balloon Boom
Balloon Boom, Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium, and Sebastian Gomez of Creative Flame

Armed with a blow horn and fiery darts, Bizarre Entertainment will showcase their pyrotechnics with the crowd pleasing game “Balloon Boom”, an elemental inspired carnival game part of Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium. Spectators will be dazzled by the lady of the house Lacey Blaze, to take a try at popping the balloons with darts of fire. Every balloon popped will help with the creation of new games and rides for Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium.
Donations to construct Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium can be paid directly through PayPal at

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Jessica Foote ( Lacey Blaze) teamed with Jason Barbour, are professional fire manipulation performers and founders of Bizarre Entertainment, an eccentric collection and assortment of captivating entertainers specializing in sideshow and fire performance arts since 2005. Based Wilmington and performing all over North Carolina for various venues and festivals, they began their idea if an interactive performance sideshow that

“allowed us to tamper with the very thread that binds your wildest imagination and your greatest fears” – Lacey Blaze

Wilmington’s fringe pioneer, extraordinary-world reknown juggling and fire performer and head gypsy at the Juggling Gypsy, Sebastian Gomez ignites his prospective donors with the flaming Trampoline of Terror – its premier public trial.

bash balance
Sebastian Gomez

Sebastian (Bash) Gomez has attached fire to over 30 separate juggling apparatus, including some more nonconventional items…Some of which include the Maori Fire Chains, A 6′ Fire Staff, a Flaming balancing chair, Fire eating torches, and fire diabolo. He created his own performance troupe, Creative Flame Company, which has attracted attention from international clients & festivals.
In 2004, having performed feats of fire throughout 20 countries including the Middle East, most of North America, Europe, Mexico and the Carribbean, and always in search of a new challenge, Sebastian partnered with friend and coperformer, Marcy Whipkins to create A second Base near The east Coast Film Studios in Wilmington, NC. They created a Circus arts and musical entertainment venue called the Juggling Gypsy, which is still in operation to this day, attracting music, cirque, and fringe entertainment acts from across the world.


His passion for the combustible arts has recently led him into Creating flammable propane-based stationary art, music-reactive fire apparatus, firewalking, and Pyrotechnic / Fireworks displays and manipulation.

Artist Mezza9
Artist Mezza9

Studio Nebulon presents fine art visionist painter, Mezza9’s “Pollen Path: Beehive Discoballs” fundraiser: a Fortune Telling Confessional Booth. Unload your baggage and misdoings in the confessional or have your fortune revealed by a madman, um, shaman.

Mezza9 will be painting live. Chance to win an original work with $20 raffle tickets for the finished art.

Mezza9 on stilts at Cameron Art Museum
Mezza9 on stilts at Cameron Art Museum

Stilt dancer, too, Mezza9 will be on hand to talk about the Beehive Discoball project that has been a two year journey so far.

The Beehive Disco Balls
bring an element of her paintings into 3-dimensions in a glowing, spinning interactive lighting to dance under. Her fundraising benefits the lighting mechanisms and transportation of six foot tall, space-age and steam-punk, Buckminster Fuller inspired disco balls made of aluminum and repurposed metals. These have received Creativity Grants and a successful Kickstarter.

This grand scale public art brings environmental awareness of the importance of bees and the glitz of the disco together with the strongest building block in nature: the hexagon. Buckminster Fuller himself would have supported this strange marriage of things. and on Kickstarter:

Sideshow Joe LoRusso
Sideshow Joe LoRusso

Sideshow Joe LoRusso, inventor of the UFO flying, spinning, fire machines, which are currently under patent consideration and pending kickstarter funding will be onsite demonstrating his firespinning and metallic drums.

Live project on Kickstarter:

“This fire toy is in a category of its own. Part rope dart, part Frisbee, part yo-yo. This flow toy works upon the principles of gyroscopic motion.”

More artists & their projects TBA.


special guest


Watch this post for updates.

CARNIVAL OF DREAMS 2013. Deadline for application is March 3rd. The concept is simple. A carnival style event where the general public comes to participate in carnival style games for a small fee per play. They support your project by playing your game. At your area, you do not have to have your finished project ready. Think scale model, artistic rendition, skeleton frame, etc, that you can show the people who may wish to support your project.

Link to application: Carnival Of Dreams: Application Guideline


There will be fire dance performances throughout the evening. Music. Mayhem.

Donate Now

Can’t attend or want to donate to these projects collectively? Donations accepted by Pay Pal to

Corporate sponsors write to

For information and interviews of the artists, contact:

Jessica Foote ( Lacey Blaze) and Jason Barbour, Bizarre Entertainment,

Sebastian Gomez 310-720-7201,
Mezza9 910 515 1328,


Hear Joseph Campbell & Pollen Path

A little Joseph Campbell for pre-dawn breakfast,
some Alan Watts spread on my toast,
some Daniel Pinchbeck to drink,
some Neruda & Sexton & Nin mixed in my nightcap;
I am nourished.
Add music and I am whole.
– Lovingly yours, M9

Sneak peak of Studio Nebulon in the wee hours and 1/3 of 30 feet of painting that I hope to have complete by June circus show. Post kickstarter (one of) taping taking down notes. Some nice audio thoughts on Pollen Path… enjoy!
Pollen Path
Beauty before me
Beauty behind me
Beauty to the left of me
Beauty to the right of me
Beauty below me
Beauty above me
I am on the Pollen Path.
– the Navajo

Looking forward to show at ACES Gallery (Wilmington Art Council) this Friday. Looks like there will be quite a spread & a great DJ & sideshow performer too! Love these manic days of heightened productivity before a show! In and out of the paint, the very clouds whispering in my ears on morning runs, go on! go on! Forward!


It took a Village!! Kickstarter a Success!


Studio Nebulon says Thank You
Song for a New Consciousness has moved to Lantana’s Gallery in beautiful Southport, NC. She is still seeking a permanent home.

Thank you so much.

Two years of painting and thinking about hexagons and Buckminster Fuller and I’ve arrived to have enough funding to create these Beehive Disco Balls.

A big hug and thank you to Pollen Path backers:

Gregory Sadler, Joe Corey, Jennifer Wang, Daniel Singer,

Ron Royster, Norman Hill, Jessica Page, Joe Corey, Lee Fox, Cara Slumdig, Dawn Hall, Robert Workmon, Charles blizzard, Dixon Stetler, Laura, Katherine O’Brien, Renee Rand, Susan Haws, Perry Sugg, Lanny Lantana’s, Colleen Ringrose, Paula Ackerman, Jaime

Chandra, Christina and Jon Fish, Alicia Ortiz, Tanya Tilley, Rodney Derick, Grayson Baur, Dianne Freund, James Spicka, Craig Thieman, Joey McMillan, Stephanie Moore, and thank you for the generosity of Kelton Brandt, Sandra Geich, Rachel Wellman, Brenda van Orsouw, John Dorman, Renee Leverty, Heather Robinson, and the sweet man who didn’t laugh at my computer (too hard) Russ Campbell.

Special, special thank you to Eddy and those beautiful souls

who believed in my project at the very beginning and gave of

themselves in time, talent & support: Rodney Derrick, Virginia Bridges, Renee Leverty, Joe Galas, Stephanie Moore, Russ Campbell, Gwenyfar of Old Front Street Books, Anne Flaherty, The Creativity team of Transformus, and those who believed

at its crucial Kickstarter ending including Norman Hill, The Landing: Tree & Eddy, Blaze Coyote for his patience with his mom!, and Cliff Bellamy and all of the well-wishers who empowered me to keep my heart out front. Thank you to Jimmy Kaylis for studio space.

Now the real work begins. After 30 days Kickstarter will send the funding minus 10% fees. I’ll be warming up the welding tools, tying back my dreadlocks and getting to work. There will be a prototype to make, then onward to the lighting — get ready Jonathan Paine & Charity Evans!

The Disco Balls will travel! This is ultimately Public Art. Kinetic, shiny and to be seen by many at Festivals and beyond.

There will be B’Circk: A Day of Illumination with energy work,

speakers on behalf of the bees, Tarot reading and circus

performances and dancing under the Beehive Disco Balls in Durham in April and a big shazam at the preztel opening in Asheville. I hope you will make these events part of your social fabric.

For booking: Kate O’Donnell in the subject line to:

If you missed out on sending monetary support, but want to, I will honor the rewards offered on the Kickstarter until Dec. 1. This includes the $12 tickets to B’Circk: A Day of Illumination, while they last. As of now there are about 80 left. Credit cards can be phoned in to 910 515 1328. Or mail: Wendy Kowalski c/o Studio Nebulon, 1827 Burnett Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28401. Email any questions at all about Pollen Path, life & liberty to:

Bee well, bee free n’ spread the love like honey!


Tell your friends!! Artist needs your action today!
For more loving art and for answers to all of your existential, alchemist and slightly psychedelic but always galactic ponderings please pen a message loosely on nice paper then type it neatly to Be sure to marvel at the splendor of the ballpoint pen and the clack of the keys — how far we’ve come and how far we’ll go!
*Love & Gratitude*
Wendy Kowalski
Studio Nebulon Downtown
1827 Burnett Blvd
Wilmington, NC 28401
910 515-1328



Song gets edits

Song for a New Consciousness

This morning I nearly finished Song for a New Consciousness. She is lovely and now in oils. The oil paint gives here a gloss and a bit of a mysterious look. It was hard to know when to stop painting. She was breathing this morning so I stopped. I’ll look at her again in the dark of tomorrow morning and make a decision to release her. Photos soon, I promise.

In the meantime, here is some video of this painting and the Thank You for my Kickstarter launch.

Always in gratitude of this beautyfull life,

There is an amazing painting reward for one lucky backer, her name is Song. After I returned home from Asheville, (following a chemical burn on my eye and a few weeks off from painting), I returned refreshed and very ready to paint!! The result was a facelift to one of my favorite paintings. I hope you like the results!!! Backers have an option for large and small prints of this painting too!

Song’s sister piece, Seven Sisters is next. Similar subjects coming out of beehives in the sky, several women. This very large work is also listed under the backer rewards on the Kickstarter. I will post pictures as the painting progresses.

Here is the link to the Kickstarter rewards:

In gratitude,


Thank you to Brenda at the Frame Outlet on Kerr Ave in Wilmington, NC for shooting some casual pictures of Song. Stop by to see the painting in person if ya like. It is awaiting its final scan. The folks at Frame Outlet are super friendly!


Kickstarter Launched!!

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Kickstarter Launched!!

Today begins 55 day countdown to raising the funds for a Public Art Sculpture. Help to create art and foster the spirit of Beehive Disco Balls. 6 feet of bling and fairie light and ecological wonder! Made to dance under in a town near you!! By helping you will receive some Wonder-full Art for your home, stickers, bookmarks, or even a party pass!

Thank you for sharing my interest in my passion – visionary circus art.

My art makes people happy … and now… I am taking it to the next level. Pollen Path is my biggest expression of love and wonder! These giant Beehive Disco Balls are spinning wonders of shiny aluminum that shed disco light. Inspired by the art at Burning Man, they create a magical environment.

Please watch the 6 min video and take a moment to view my full proposal. This art appeals to my philosophical and environmental sensibilities.

Public Art? Yes!!!

This art will travel to a city near you! It is going to music festivals, burns, and public spaces! Indoors or out!

I will be creating with metal instead of paint. I was so esctastic to meet metal worker, Michael, at Transformus who will be showing me how to use a plasma cutter to repurpose metal.

Once the Kickstarter for Pollen Path has reached its goal, I will use the funds to create a grand party where we can all dance under the Beehive disco balls for the first time!

Being a Backer has its perks!

Be rewarded with art prints, original paintings, stickers, and bookmarks or a special VIP Party Invite!

I hand-picked art that is my favorite for you!

Please help today. Backers are not “charged” until the end date of the Kickstarter and only when the total goal has been reached. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. (The folks at Kickstarter earn approx. 10%.)

This is my project for this Winter. I have the perfect studio to make it a reality. Please help by showing your support.

Please consider backing my project today.

Thank you for being you!! I am so grateful and blessed.

~ Mezza9 “Wendy” Kowalski ~


Kickstarter for Pollen Path Beehive Disco Balls submitted for approval today

Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Here is a peak at the Portrait Marathon video included … recognize anyone?

Portrait Marathons


Beehive Disco Balls are coming soon!!

Wow! My first Public Art!!

I got the Creativity grant to start to make the giant 7′ tall disco balls shaped like beehives… but I’ll need more help. Watch for a Kickstarter soon! Email me at (for anything) or to be added to the kickstarter announcement, click the button on the right side bar to Join and receive updates via email.


Thank you for being a fan!!


a kickstarter worth starting … Juggling Gypsy, Circus performer portraits in film… by Tom Chaudoin