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Billings area kite aficionados have an opportunity to let their spirits soar at bargain prices.

The beauty of the kite creations at Billings Logan International Airport can be savored long after the current kite show goes down.

“Sky Wind and World Kite Exhibit” organizer Terry Zee Lee plans to auction off the colorful, international collection on eBay, beginning Oct. 20. But before she does, she is offering Billings Gazette readers the first chance to buy the kites at special rates.

“We’ll consider any reasonable offer on the kites from our loyal local constituency, before they are offered to the rest of the world,” Lee said. She says the individual kites are valued between $20 and $3,000 and range from light-hearted pieces to collectors’ items intended for display as one would show a fine piece of sculpture or valuable painting.

Friends of kites know that the show attracted entries for all over the world. When it comes down in October, the two-year exhibit will have been viewed by 3 million people. More than 60 groups took advantage of the “third Tuesday” tours and the exhibit has drawn comment from worldwide visitors to the Magic City.

The show will cap Oct. 12, after the American Kitefliers Association comes to Billings for its annual convention and kite flying championships. These will be Oct. 1-6 at Amend Park.

Lee said her reason for wanting some of the kites to stay in Billings is because “the region has really supported the endeavor from its idea stages. Most of us are kids at heart and the kites appeal to all of us with their sense of magic and beauty.”

Among the kites are the fine art pieces as well as “let’s go fly a kite” toys, she said. Among the fine art show pieces are Linda Johnson’s “I Wear My Heart on my Sleeve,” John Pollock’s winged cellular kite, “Urbanized,” and Liu Zhen’s “36 Cell Dragon.”

The “Sky, Wind and World” show is sponsored by a nonprofit corporation formed to facilitate the exhibit by local kite fans, builders and fliers. Billings’ first two kite festivals have been huge successes, with the Big Sky Kite Club planning two kite flies per year.

“Kites

to make an offer… To make an offer on any of the kites in the international display, arrange for a tour or help with the upcoming American Kitefliers Association convention, contact Terry Lee at (406) 254-1122; e-mail, tzlee@wtp.net, or contact John Pollock at (406) 248-6613. Kites and their craftsmen have a web site at www.skywindworld.org

Three more public tours are scheduled at the airport, the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m. Lee will schedule a private group tour at any time. Anyone coming or going to the airport should also vote for the people’s choice award.

An artists’ tour will be given at the airport Oct. 1, during the opening of AKA.

that stay in this area could be flown at these events for many years and people could continue to enjoy them,” Lee said.

The international collection will go up for auction on E-bay on Oct. 20, with three kites being listed every 10 days until the collection is sold. Profits from the sale of the kites go to the Yellowstone Art Museum.

“People around here can get real bargains,” Lee said. “We’ll give people good prices just to keep them in the area.”

The more elaborate art pieces, she said, will have a minimum-bid price.

Kite purchasers who can get to Billings will get individualized kite flying instruction during the AKA convention, some by the kites’ artists. Up to 600 kite fliers are expected at the festivities including 14 of the featured “Sky, Wind, World” artists.

Lee also asks that kite fans vote for their favorite kite before the exhibit ends by leaving their ballot in the box-kite shaped box at the airport, at the east end of baggage claim.

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