What do you get when you put a web developer, a graphic designer, an avian biologist, a teacher and a few of their friends in the mix? A recipe of epic proportions. This is how The Colossal Collective got started. The Colossal Collective is made up of a group of people as versatile and diverse as the colossal creations that their imaginations and hard work bring to life.
The collective started when Sam Johnson came to Esthetic Evolution (a festival near and dear to a small community of people near the Boise, Idaho area) and brought his first homemade puppet, a squid! It was at EE that he became fast friends with James Sharp, and together they dreamt up an even bigger project for the following year. Naturally acquiring a collective of likeminded, artistically inclined and imaginative bunch, each passing year, the puppets got bigger and brighter and The Colossal Collective was born.
Since 2012 the group has provided unforgettable experiences for people at events in Idaho like the annual Sensory Illumination as well as music festivals. This year they have already been to Treefort Music Fest and What The Festival where DOPE Magazine was lucky enough to tag along for an experience like nothing, even our best edibles, could have conjured up in our imaginations.
This year’s project is named Jungo Blizzard. Jungo is a gargantuan gorilla who stands at nearly 20 feet tall, and has an arm-span of nearly 40 feet making for quite the dance partner at the Splash Stage, a jaw dropping light show all his own with his fully integrated programmable LED lighting while at the WTF stage. Jungo vibed out the crowd under a disco ball fit for a king. And don’t fret, his giant clock that rivals the one and only Flava Flav’s lets you know what time it is. At all times, it’s PARTY TIME.
But Jungo isn’t just fascinatingly breathtaking as an onlooker, he is so much more to those who created him. Watching the faces go from smiling to beaming, lost to found, each looking back at you enamored by Jungo as he dances by or shakes his big booty in the crowd creates a high all its own. Jungo brings authenticity and pure joy to the thousands of people at the festival!
Whether it be King Dazbog, a life size dinosaur, Gertie The Galactic Arachnid, who stood 15-feet tall, and had a max leg-span of over 30-feet or Jungo Blizzard it is labor of love for the group who started as friends and now consider each other family. Through pulling each person’s resources the collective has been able to gain access to workspaces, tools, obtain grants and of course donate their own time, knowledge and skills so that every year they have the opportunity to remind others and themselves that “no matter how old we get, we can still find magic in our lives. Not only that, we can create it!”