The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally

July 27, 2016

the great wellsville balloon rally

the great wellsville balloon rally

the great wellsville balloon rally

tracy hetzel artist

What a wonderful weekend! This year, I had the honor of being the The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally artist. It was an unforgettable experience. I loved walking around my hometown, seeing my art everywhere, (on posters, t-shirts, the balloon rally truck) having people stop me and tell me it’s the best poster they’ve seen in a while… I felt a little like a celebrity. My 15 minutes of small town fame was so much fun and it’s a weekend I will always hold close to my heart.

Strolling around town, I was able to stop in at all my favorite shops and, in my own way, help the local economy. I got to enjoy all the flavors of Wellsville that I miss so dearly and see family and friends, new and old. I had that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia and got to share it with the ones I love… Elvis and his dog even made an appearance. I have to say, my hometown never looked better.

texas hot, elvis

art center cafe wellsville ny

the great wellsville balloon rally

the great wellsville balloon rally

My children, after many years of attending this event, finally got to experience a hot air balloon ride. If you’ve never been, there is nothing quite like it. They flew low, dipped the basket in the river, floated over the pink house and it’s surrounding neighborhood and eventually landed, funny enough, in the McDonald’s drive thru. Breakfast anyone? With all their cousins chasing the balloon, yelling and waving to them. I’m sure it’s something they will never forget.

I did have to drag three teenagers out of bed at 5:30am. But they promise me it was well worth it.

the great wellsville balloon rally

the great wellsville balloon rally

wellsville ny pink house

The culmination of such a wonderful weekend was made even more memorable by a surprise 50th Anniversary Party for my parents. With all their children and their children’s children, and a few surprise out of town relatives, everyone I’m related to was actually under one roof. Food, drink and cake was enjoyed over toasts and a tearjerker video compilation of their lives to date. It was absolutely perfect.

We Hetzel’s may be a small, but we are mighty! Watch out world, the next generation is upon you.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.

hetzel family

cake2

Kendall

June 28, 2016

kendall jenner by tracy hetzel

I have been so busy lately, so busy—but that’s good, right? I honestly can’t believe it’s almost July! Where does the time go? Maybe I should start planning for Christmas before that sneaks up on me too (he he)… Anyway, back to art… I just love the colors in this illustration of the ever popular Kendall Jenner that I did for Face Factory Paris. And, I  have video! Time-lapse of the making of Kendall is on my YouTube Channel. Check it out here!

Making Lemonade

May 13, 2016

lemon watercolor by tracy hetzel

When life hands you lemons… Make a new website.

I went to update my blog yesterday and it, well, kind of imploded. Argh! Not what I wanted to deal with on a Thursday. But it gave me the opportunity to revisit the old and make it new again. So, my site has a new, beautiful, streamlined look. New mail chimp integration. A new contact form. It’s pretty. it’s simple. I like it… Voila! Lemonade.

fashion illustration by tracy hetzel

What an Honor

May 12, 2016

Zahara Bahrami by Tracy Hetzel

During the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Global Drug Policy (April 19-21, 2016) The Museum Of Drug Policy, a pop­up cultural hub that includes an immersive art experience and special live programming, took a look at the impact of current drug policies on populations around the world. The Museum occupied space on Park Avenue for these three days. Through art, conversations and experiential events, the Museum showcased that the moment is now for drug policy reform and that damage caused by the war on drugs is evident across the world.

I had the great honor of being included among the artists that exhibited. My Execution Portrait Series, sponsored by Open Society Foundations, profiled 5 individuals who have been executed because of drug use or distribution. Their stories are heartbreaking and while working on these individuals I couldn’t help but become a bit emotional. My goal was to bring them a voice.

Above is my portrait of Zahara Bahrami.

Andrew Chan and Brian Chambers by Tracy Hetzel

Andrew Chan and Brian Chambers.

Martin Anderson and Myuran Sukumaran by Tracy Hetzel

Martin Anderson and Myuran Sukumaran.

Museum of Drug Policy portraits by Tracy Hetzel

Museum of Drug Policy portraits by Tracy Hetzel

Some pictures from the installation.

Museum of Drug Policy portraits by Tracy Hetzel

My portrait of Zahara Bahrami appeared on the Save the Date for the Event. And was even featured on a Jumbotron in Times Square (can you stand it!).

Portrait by Tracy Hetzel appeared in Times Square

I was even commended by Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York.

How he got my married name, I’ll never know…

tracy hetzel certificate of recognition

Don’t Give Up on that Dream

April 28, 2016

wellsville balloon rally poster designs by tracy hetzelChildhood dream realized!

Yeah, baby. Smiling, smiling… I have grown up around hot air balloons. My hometown is famous for them. The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally takes place in my hometown every summer. Seeing them fly overhead hoping they would land in your yard was my inspiration. And when they did, you could help puff out the air from the enormous array of colors right in front of you that you’re actually touching. What could be more glorious for the child in us all?

The Rally has always promoted the event with the most beautiful posters. Year after year, waiting to see what this years would be… For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be THAT ARTIST. I know those posters played a small roll in me wanting to pursue art. Well, my friends, I’m thrilled to announce that this year I was chosen as the Balloon Rally artist! Yay Me!! Above are my poster design options. (I am a graphic artist by day, that’s how I pay the bills, so I threw my talents in for good measure.)

And the winning poster is:

2016 Great Wellsville Balloon Rally poster by Tracy Hetzel

Not the one I would have chosen, but I couldn’t be happier! I can’t wait to be there this summer and see the town a glow with my art! Poster, t-shirts, a trailer wrap! Oh, my… Can’t contain my excitement! Wellsville, here I come!!