Venice artist Doron Gazit believes that balloons aren't just for child's play. Gazit is the creator of "balonaks," gigantic balloons that can be inflated to create unique sculptures. They are lightweight, durable and colorful. "It's a whole new medium for creativity," he said.
A native of Israel, Gazit got the idea for the long balloons eight years ago while vacationing in San Francisco where he saw children making balloon animals. He returned to his studies at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and sold twisted balloons to children on the streets of Jerusalem.
Using his ingenuity and knowledge of industrial design, he developed a long, polyethylene tube he called "balonaks," derived from the Hebrew words for giant and balloon. Gazit moved to the United States about seven years ago. Since that time his balloon sculptures have been exhibited at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Pacific Design Center, Expo '86 in Vancouver, Canada, and at various special events and celebrations all over the world. His work is on display at Disneyland in Anaheim.
He designs his creations on paper, and like any other sculptor he makes revisions as he goes along. "Anything that is designed on paper never looks the same on site," he said. "When I go with the crew to do installations, we inflate them and actually do the design on site."
"Maybe we relate to the balloon because it brings out the positive things in life," he said. "It makes us laugh and smile."
Westwood resident Pat Silverman has been installed as chairperson for the docent program at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.
Silverman, who has contributed more than 3,000 hours of service to the zoo, will assume responsibility for the association's more than 500 docents.
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations has awarded Shawna Bader the Malcolm H. Kerr Scholarship.
Bader, a junior at Santa Monica High School, will study Arab culture and history, contemporary Arab society and Islam in Egypt this summer. She was one of 18 high school juniors selected from a national competition to participate in the study-abroad program.
The Jewish National Fund honored U.S. Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Los Angeles) and his wife Dolores with its "Tree of Life" award.
The Beilensons were recognized for their dedication to public service at a dinner June 23 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
For the third year in a row, David Boje was chosen Teacher of the Year by the Loyola Marymount University student body. Boje, who lives in Culver City, is an associate professor of management.
Dr. Jack Moore will serve as president of the California Society of Anesthesiologists.
Moore is a visiting assistant clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center and staff anesthesiologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and received his medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Paul Cummings, headmaster of Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, has been selected as a 1991 National Fellow by the Council for Basic Education.
Cummings, one of 10 principals chosen from across the nation, was awarded a $2,000 fellowship for a four-week independent study in the humanities.