Friday, December 18, 2009

From the Email Inbox: New York chess set

I was looking at your site and saw "The largest Chessboard".
You may want to check this out....this chessboard is 3 stories high and placed on a blank wall of the adjacent apartment building. Each chess piece is a disc, 2-1/2 feet in diameter. The chessboard features the end of a famous historical chess match between world champions. At high noon each Wednesday, a workman goes aloft in a "cherry picker" to advance the game. A flag flies throughout the week indicating which color is to play next. 767 Third Avenue is recognized as one of Manhattans signature buildings.!!!

Re: Largest chessboard

Ooooh - thank you, Eddie - that certainly does beat the Morro Bay board, as well as the MeaChess installations. They both tout themselves as 'playable', but I suppose this one is, too, just a little less access to the public.  Thanks for the info, and what will happen when the game is completed?  Will they reinact any other famous matches, or possibly use it for mirroring games at major events, real-time?
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.
----- Original Message -----
From: Eddie
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 7:04 AM
Subject: Largest chessboard

I was looking at your site and saw "The largest Chessboard".
You may want to check this out....this chessboard is 3 stories high and placed on a blank wall of the adjacent apartment building. Each chess piece is a disc, 2-1/2 feet in diameter. The chessboard features the end of a famous historical chess match between world champions. At high noon each Wednesday, a workman goes aloft in a "cherry picker" to advance the game. A flag flies throughout the week indicating which color is to play next. 767 Third Avenue is recognized as one of Manhattans signature buildings.!!!
Eddie Kilkenny

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG -
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

WLCoWSVoWLT Road Trip Hand-Drawn Book

Here's a link to uploaded images of the Hand-Drawn Book we're working on, telling some of the story of the Mobile Museum.  It's about 1/2 completed, and will become part of the permanent Art House Co-Op's library, then travel around to venues throughout the US.  You can check it out when it comes to a Metro area near YOU! (if you live in New York, Chicago, L.A., or St. Louis, that is...)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tines they Are a Changin'

Student Alecia Ballin walks past the towering fork, which she had first seen featured on television. "It's whimsical and fun," said a city Planning and Development official.
From the LA Times article about Pasadena California's new Giant Fork statue... Erected Halloween 2009, it may just stay...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Finished Restoration, Big Fish Supper Club, Bena MN

Wow - lookit that pop! This image is from the realtor who has the site for sale, and the paint job was done by Josh Porter of Avalon Studios... small world, as this project hit the Society for Commercial Archeology newsletters just as Josh called up to say he'd be working on it.

(side note - Josh is Erika's first cousin, so the World's Largest Things gene must run on the Swedish side of the line...)

Buy the Big Fish:

Hire Josh to make your next World's Largest Thing:

Bena Minnesota Big Fish: Restored, and for sale!

Just found the listing after the agent left a message on one of the blog posts... Perfect opportunity! Now, where did I leave that large stash of cash, so I can live in Minnesota, run a resort, and care for a BIG FISH?

Did I mention the year-round fish cleaning house?


Rose Hill NC Chamber of Commerce

Gotta love a logo with happy smiling pig and chicken, advertising cooked pig and chicken!  You go, Rose Hill.

Rose Hill North Carolina World's Largest Pan - still being used!

That's how things work here - a brief mention in an article, and Viola!  You find another WLT, hiding in plain sight.  As mentioned in the previous post, there are more than a few that USED to be used, but this one has been in service (and still cookin'!) since 1965. 
From the July 15, 1982 issue of the Wilmington Morning Star:   ROSE HILL ADPOTS FRYING PAN
The town of Rose Hill became owner of what is called "the world's largest frying pan" Tuesday night.
The huge pan, actually in eight sections joined together, has been the centerpiece of poultry promotions and jubilees since 1963.
Promised removal of the centerpiece to Kenansville for the first Duplain County agricultural fair in 60 years, prompted the action.
Dennis Ramsey explained,"  I'm displeased with its leaving town.  It's only left town once and that was to White Lake for a blueberry festival.  At that time we were promoting our own Rose Hill Jubilee and poultry products. 
For several years the pan has rested under a gazebo on a lot adjacent to the Rose Manor shopping center south of Rose Hill.  Previously, it was located on the town park, the former Rose Hill school campus.
Tuesday night, Ramsey offered the pan to the town if it would provide a suitable location.  The board of commissioners accepted the pan during its regular July meeting.  The board plans to provide a permanent site for the pan in the town park beside U.X. 117.
The pan, 15 feet across, is made of 1/4-inch steel.  It can fry 265 chickens at one time.  The pan requires 140 gallons of cooking oil and eight sets of tobacco burners for heating.

From the PR Newswire: World's Largest Frying Pan Heats Up

ROSE HILL, N.C. -  Nov. 30, 2009

The world's largest frying pan, measuring fifteen feet in diameter and clocking in at an astounding two tons, is about to be fired up.

On Saturday, December 5th, a portion of the frying pan's forty gas burners will be put to good use in celebration of the Rose Hill Christmas Parade. Constructed in 1963, the world's largest frying pan can fry up to 365 chickens and uses nearly 200 gallons of cooking oil at capacity.

Whole Harvest, maker of the nation's first naturally produced zero Trans-fat, hexane free cooking oil, will be providing all the cooking oil for the event. House of Raeford Farms, Inc., headquartered in Rose Hill, will supply the chicken. Sales proceeds will support the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

Whole Harvest is proud to support the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department. It seems only fitting for the world's largest frying pan to use the nation's first all natural, no Trans-fat, hexane free oil.

SOURCE Whole Harvest

*from WLT Director Erika Nelson:  This sounds like the DelMarVa pan, but North Carolina?!?  Maybe there's yet another World's Largest Pan!  DelMarVa pan is housed in Wilmington Delaware, used to be used in the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia peninsula for chicken frys.  Also, Long Beach Washington has a retired (and now replicated) pan, formerly used for clam frys, and there's one in Brandon, Iowa, too...*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When Worlds Combine - great Back Yard Visitor story from Thanksgiving Weekend

Family show up in back yard, mother says "didn't we see you at the Orange Show in Houston?" Yay, Texas!

The son pipes up and says: "Yeah, and she was on ArtLand, too..." Yay, Film crews that come through Lucas!

Mom says, "Can I get your picture together with my son?" I say sure, she clicks, and says to son: "Now you have one with the Big Little Big lady, AND Bill Nye!" Yay, being as cool as Bill Nye the Science Guy!

I say to son: "Good combination, Art and Science. They go together really well..." and little guy says: "Well, Leonardo was good at both, I don't see why I can't be..." Yay, 12-year-old liking and undersanding DaVinci!!!

So, we talk about more big and little stuff, I give them all Wooden Nickles, and I make a pact with the son to learn to say the complete longest-named town name, and it'll be our greeting next time we meet... Yay, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Connecting the dots for about 10 years...

Just had a nice reminder of why I'm sitting alone on a Sunday night, typing up stories about World's Largest Things...

Reminder #1: While doing next month's columns, I ran across a blog that mentioned the WL Replica Cheese (now gone), which also uses my commentary and meta-photo:

Reminder #2: The very next topic I searched, in looking for the World's Largest Current Cheese record, had another tie-in - a WLT Member took the photo on the first explanation page I came to:
Reminder #3: And, just now, in googling "worlds largest cheese" and "ranjit", the above result was the second listing. The first was this, taken during a residency in Delaware, back in Aught Four or Aught Five:

Reminder #4: The same residency that let to my appearance in Zippy the Pinhead:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NEW Sideshow Poster now available for purchase

11" x 17" full color glossy mini-poster features paintings of some of the smallest WSVs from the WLCoWSVoWLT collection, as seen on the first of three new Sideshow Banners for the traveling exhibit, premiering May 2010.
Get yours now!  We've set up PayPal buttons on a special Sneak Preview page.  Prices include S&H - $7.00 for one, $25.00 for five.  Get a whole slew, stuff 'em in stockings for a Wonderfully Wee Christmas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

New error message for WLT site

Seemed like a good creative thing for Art-A-Day Month... Now accessable for any missing file, page not found, etc. at the World's Largest Thing site.
See it in action here -

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Seattle's Hat-N-Boots - Restored!

What great news from Seattle Parks and Recreation:
PROJECT STATUS - October 2009
Restoration of the hat is complete!
The Georgetown Community Council and Seattle Parks and Recreation are happy to announce the completion of the restoration on the Hat 'n' Boots. Scaffolding came down from around the hat on October 15, 2009. The painting of the hat was completed soon after and Parks is working on finishing the final details.

The Hat 'n' Boots were moved from thier former location at the "Premium Tex" Texaco gas station on E Marginal Way to Oxbow Park in December 2003. The boots were restored in 2005.

Thank you, Seattle! This Pro Parks project is complete, and the park is open to public. On Saturday, August 13, 2005, the community gathered to dedicate the new park.

Park construction started in November 2003 but it took on real meaning with the move of the Hat 'n' Boot structures to the park on December 13, 2003. The move was accomplished in two stages starting on December 12. (See photos.)
Kelly Davidson
800 Maynard Ave. S., 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98134-1336

From the Email Inbox: WL Rubber Chicken pics

This is why I love my job.  Just got pics in from Mike Wild, who makes large wonderful things.  This is the giant rubber chicken he built for a toystore, located just 5 miles south of the World's Largest Bottle of Catsup, Collinsvill IL.  They only got a 10 day varience from the city, so the chicken was only outside for a few weeks, but it's inside now, and they hope for a more permanent outside let at some point...
Thanks, for keeping the American Roadside AWESOME!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rhode Island Milk Can for sale

Found it on a real estate blog, with some not-too-bad info in the listing...
A  way of attracting motorists, while they are travelling the highways, to a diner, coffee shop, or roadside attraction was to build the building in an unusual shape, especially the shape of the things sold there. "Mimic" Mimetic architecture became a trend, in the 1930's but in RHODE ISLAND we had ours built in 1807. Many roadside coffee shops were built in the shape of giant coffee pots; hot dog stands were built in the shape of giant hot dogs; and fruit stands were built in the shape of oranges or other fruit or a large milkcan as was the structure built in 1807 at the junction of 146 and 295. This Milk Can was originally located down the road on Louisquisett Pike (Rt 146) in Lincoln, RI, located not far from my home in Lincoln, RI in a neighboring community located at 920 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield,

This vacant Milk Can Structure Building that was originally an ice cream stand, built in the shape of a dairyman's cream can 32 1/2 feet high and 16 feet in diameter represented the earliest
period of snack food merchandising located on a major highway, Route 146.

It was moved for highway construction Rt 99 in the late eighties early nineties. It was only moved one mile down the same road from its previous location to a new location.

This container building was a unique expression of architecture, built by the Original owner, Charles Plante that would demand the motorist's notice. In 1950 a canopy and Kitchen was a major addition, as well as a patio area in 1960.

This vacant milk can  is listed in the National Register status 1979

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two WLTs in ONE AP story...

Sultan Kösen, the world's tallest man, unveils the world's largest gingerbread man at an Ikea store in Oslo, Thursday, Nov. 12 2009. The Swedish furniture chain's Oslo outlet says 8-foot-1-inch tall Sultan Koesen of Turkey presented the cookie that weighs 1,435 pounds (651 kilograms). It was baked in the traditional gingerbread man shape by a local bakery and beat the previous 2006 world cookie record of 1,307 pounds (593 kilograms) set in Smithville, Texas. (AP Photo / Morten Holm / Scanpix)
OSLO — The world's tallest living man has unveiled the world's largest gingerbread man at an Ikea outlet in Norway's capital, Oslo.

Guinness Book of World Records spokeswoman Justine Bourdariat says 8-foot-1-inch tall Sultan Koesen of Turkey displayed the 1,435-pound (651-kilogram) biscuit. Baked locally in the traditional gingerbread-man shape, it beat the previous gingerbread cookie record of 1,307 pounds set in 2006 in Smithville, Texas.

Ikea spokesman Jan Thommesen says Guinness Book of World Records representative Kelly Gerret awarded the furniture store a world record diploma Thursday as part of the publication's World Records Day.

Koesen was declared the tallest living man by the Guinness Book of World Records in September.

Monday, November 9, 2009

August US Airways Magazine: Alberta's WLTs

In Egypt, the great Pharaohs commissioned towering pyramids as lasting testaments to immortality. India is the site of the Taj Mahal, and China the Great Wall. Across Europe, cities raise monuments to exalted leaders and famous explorers.

And in the far-flung town of Mundare in the Canadian province of Alberta, near the intersection of highways 15 and 855, stands the world's largest Ukrainian sausage. The 42-foot-tall opus to grilled goodness commemorates the nearby Stawnichy's Meat Processing facility, the region's Ukrainian heritage, and the town's long-running association with various pork products.

No one really knows — or at least they aren't willing to say — just why Alberta seems to be falling all over itself to construct Brobdingnagian shrines to the weird, the wacky, and the downright strange. Actually, that's only partly true: There's usually a somewhat reasonable explanation for many of the gargantuan attractions. Still, the list of oversized memorials reads like the itinerary for a Griswold family vacation.

Read the rest of the story online:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heat on to find world's largest stove a home


A dozen or so years ago, companies, unions and just plain folks raised $300,000 to restore the world's largest stove and install it atop a mound at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. You can see the 25-foot-tall behemoth behind the fences as you pass the fairgrounds on Woodward Avenue, south of 8 Mile.
Because of its budget woes, the state shut down the 161-year-old fair after this year's run and is now seeking the right project for economic development and job creation on its 208-acre grounds.
If something comes along, what happens to the stove, an icon of Detroit's first industrial era -- long before it was the Motor City, Detroit was Stove City, USA -- and a monument to the rarity of people around here working together to get something done?
State officials are emphatic that the stove, built in 1892 to represent Detroit at the 1893 world's fair in Chicago, is not for sale. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't entertain offers to move it to a location where it would once again be accessible for public jaw-dropping.

A sizable problem

This is not a real stove but an enormously outsize wooden replica of a model made by Garland Stove Co. when stoves were for cooking and home heating -- and Garland was the biggest of Detroit's six manufacturers. The stove is 15 tons of Michigan oak and pine, shored up by a steel frame. Its legs are framed by a concrete wall bearing the names of major contributors to the restoration. The walkways leading up to it are paved with bricks filled with messages from donors who chipped in $25 apiece. Because it's mostly wood, the stove requires regular maintenance. There is some obvious repair work needed immediately.
"It needs a good, visible home and it needs constant protection," said former state fair manager John Hertel, who led the effort to resurrect the stove. "But it's worth saving. It represents an era. It was built four years before the auto industry got rolling around here. It really is a symbol of how we can reinvent ourselves, and that's a good message for right now."

Big piece of history

After its run in Chicago, the stove stood for decades on the Garland Co.'s front lawn along Jefferson before it was moved east to near the bridge leading to Belle Isle. In 1965, it was moved to the front of the fairgrounds along Woodward, but lasted there only until 1974.

The stove was "was literally falling apart" when it was taken down and left in a pile inside the warehouse of the Detroit Historical Museum at Ft. Wayne, Hertel said. More than two decades later, he had 20 truckloads of stove pieces brought to the fairgrounds where artisans from Greenfield Village supervised the removal of 12 coats of lead-based paint, salvaged about 60% of the original wood and repainted and rebuilt the stove over three years, adding a rubberized top layer to afford it better protection.

So now what? Frankly, there are higher priorities. Still, it would be a shame to just let it go or dismantle it and pack it away someplace. After all, nobody else has one.

My favorite idea is putting it under the "Spirit of Detroit," a perfect reminder that sometimes you have to light a fire under people around here to get anything done.

But if you've got a proposal for the stove, you are invited to send an e-mail to, the real estate division of the state Department of Management and Budget, which is now in charge of the fairgrounds. Actually, if you've got an economic development proposal for the site, they probably would welcome that, too. A stove factory, maybe?

Friday, October 30, 2009

TWO - TWO - TWO Mimetic Architecture Icons at ONE JUNCTION!

Old Mill Dance Hall, Topeka Kansas, just across the street from the Skelly Gas Airplane... Wow!  The gems you can find in state digitized archives...
A photograph showing the entrance to The Old Mill dance hall located at Sixth Avenue and Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas. Also visible in the photograph is Skelly Station No.2 which resembles an airplane.

Date: Between 1928 and 1930

Skelly Station No.2, Topeka, Kansas

A photograph of Skelly Station No.2, Topeka, Kansas. The gas station, which resembles an airplane, was located at Sixth Avenue and Gage Boulevard.

Date: Between 1928 and 1930

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giant MooCow - Foundation set!

I posted this about a month ago, when discussions were in the works for finding the World's Largest Tipping Moo-Cow a home in Lucas.  Well, it looks like the ball is rolling!  In an agreement with Wenzel Steel Works, co-creators of the MooCow, the Lucas Home Base will soon be the home base for the MooCow!  We dug and set two base timbers Sunday, so placement is set, and we're just waiting for the ground to dry enough to get the 3500 pound wonder delivered and in place.
Pictured here is Peregrine Honig, the conceptualist and artist for the piece, with design and fabrication executed by Wenzel Steel Works.  The piece was originally commissioned for the Kansas City "Avenue of the Arts" in 2002, and installed in an urban Kansas City setting.  It was again displayed in Kansas City (13th and Central) during May and June 2009.

Russian Embellishment

Russian blacksmith's house in a village near Yekaterinburg City, Russia.  Makes me reconsider my own recent re-painting scheme, moving from the current 'white' to something more exciting...  As found on English Russia website

Monday, October 26, 2009

World's Largest Tug-of-War Rope, Kumohji, Naha, Japan

Japanese folks from Kumoji, Naha, upheld their annual tradition of creating the mother of all tug-of-war rope when they put together a 656 foot long rope for the 39th Ryukyu Kingdom Festival Tsunahiki. Weighing 44 tons and measuring 4.5 feet in diameter, this rope had already broken the world record in 1997.

World's Largest Tabouleh Salad, Lebanon

Friday, October 16, 2009

RVRR Does it again: TV Worth Watching, Tom Brinkmoeller on TV's coolest road trip

In 1967, Charles Kuralt invented a television genre when he began documenting simple and interesting parts of America and its people with his series of "On the Road" reports for CBS News.

In 1995, soon after Kuralt ended those reports, three guys from a Kansas public television station accidentally picked up the thread. And they've been having nothing but fun with it ever since.

Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations is a half-hour series that finds outsider art in all corners of the country, has fun making the discovery, and tries to include the creators of that art. It's a road trip with a trio of the coolest tour guides ever on public TV -- a kind of a Monty Python meets Rick Steves mix that tells you a lot about what you're seeing and makes you laugh at the same time.

Read the rest on their blog: TV Worth Watching

and we're SO very proud to be on some of their episodes. This article was from East Coast authors, with a little blurb at the bottom as to when/where to catch the show in Philadelphia and New York. Now THAT's coverage... GO! KCPT! GO!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Road Show: Art Cars and the Museum of the Streets

It's always lovely when a WLT Member puts out a new book, and Ruthann Godollei has been working on this one (along with Eric Dregni) for a few years... It's an inclusive look at Art Cars, embellished vehicles, and the history of customization.  It will, I believe, become the resource book for generations studying the movement, as it goes beyond the immediate Art Car world, and expands the examination to other cultures, horse-drawn vehicles, productmobiles, lowriders, and extreme car culture. 
AND, we're especially pleased to be a part of the project!  Not only did we contribute some images, but Ruthann gives the WLCoWSVoWLT a great long description, with a full-page photo (even though the image isn't that spectacular - our fault...), AND, super-special-extra-added bonus, we scored a spot in the Acknowledgements paragraph.   That's a first here, and we are honored and humbled.
Order one now!  Available through Amazon: 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Travel Writers LOVE LOVE LOVE Lucas.

Posted today on a Travel Industry site, an article from a travel writer that came through last week...

On Location Rural Kansas: One Motherquirky Little Town

Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Little Lucas has a big heart and big talent to go with it.  This teensy speck of a town has been a magnet for creative minds for many years, the result of which is a place where art is integrated into daily life.  Increasingly, Lucas is becoming a tourist magnet as well.  Do you have clients who enjoy going off the beaten path but want to stay on the road to cooldom?  Kansas is the new Meatpacking District; with scores of grand old buildings and warehouses being converted into artspace, the state is attracting alternative types and enjoying a cultural birth astonishing in its ability to work itself into a rural lifestyle. 
Erika Nelson, whose refreshing freespiritedness and positive thinking will have cynics won over in record time, is another Lucas resident who is putting the town on the map of art appreciators across the United States.  When not creating the world's largest souvenir travel plate, which just happens to welcome visitors to Lucas, Erika makes small statues of big statues.  More correctly, she makes the world's smallest versions of the world's largest things.  She travelled around the US for two years in her magical van, now decorated with myriad collections inside and out.  Erika's renown is set to grow substantially in 2010, when she will appear as an invited artist at the famous Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Big Art in a Small World

Art 21 - a great series from PBS, premiering now - See the official page

But, even better, the Salina Art Center has been showing them in the Art Center Cinema, enabling area artists a sneak peek, and discussions afterwards. During intermission, the coordinator for the Smoky Hills River Festival turns around and says: "Oh, did I tell you? During a Festival Planners Conference, one of the Pennsylvania coordinators says he saw the Bacolicious installation in a newsletter, and thought 'Well, EVERYONE loves BACON!', reads further, and thought 'Well, of COURSE it was in Salina!'" Small world - turns out, the PA Coordinator gets the WLT Newsletter! He's a Society for Commercial Archeology member, and saw the item on the 'recent doin's' section...

Art, bringing crazy people together since cave painting time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Talkin' Voting Rights with the Travel Writer

Robert La Bau was sent out by the Kansas Department of Travel and Tourism to dig into the arts of Lucas.  We had a great time showing him what makes Lucas 'tick', sorta' tag-teaming him, as we are all still incredibly busy with an endless list of overlapping projects.  We'll see what comes out of his pen after his Lucas trip!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Belger Show "Rare Visions - Detour Art" voted Best of Kansas City

In the current issue of Pitch Magazine:
Los Angeles and New York — "the coasts" — are the heavy regional influencers in American culture, each city like an ironic air quotation mark mocking everything in between them. Here in "flyover country," by which we mean everywhere else, there are thousands of talented artists who are seldom recognized by the artistic establishment. So it's doubly ironic that when "outsider art" receives any kind of major attention, it's usually in those two coastal cities. But earlier this year, Kansas City's Belger Arts Center mounted a major exhibit of outsider art called Rare Visions–Detour Art, in conjunction with KCPT Channel 19's Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, a documentary series on outsider art. It was a knockout. The exhibit included regional works by the Rev. Howard Finster, James Harold Jennings and Q.J. Stephenson, placing their works in a serious context in the austere Belger gallery, a space large enough to drive a truck through — which the exhibit also did, with Erika Nelson's decorated van containing the world's largest collection of the world's smallest versions of the world's largest things. The exhibit's Devil Room pulled together regional depictions of Lucifer, a major mover and shaker in outsider art, tormenting the damned or tumescent, riding a tricycle.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Haunted Evening in Lucas - Sat. Oct. 24th


Saturday, October 24, 2009 6-9 PM

in LUCAS, KS - Adult $20 Child (6-12 years) $10

Grassroots artists from across the state will come back from the dead or appear in person for this spirited event.

Event check-in time is between 6-6:30 PM at the Flying Pig Studio and Gallery at 123 S. Main Street.

Enjoy appetizers and visit with Bruce McGehee, master pumpkin carver, as he will be demonstrating his special technique. You may come in costume.

Bring a carved or decorated pumpkin/gourd to be voted on for "People's Choice" through October 31st. The money raised will go toward the "Bowl Plaza," Lucas' quirky public restrooms.

Next board the hayrack with S.P. Dinsmoor and grassroots friends for some ghostly stories while viewing the Garden of Eden's night lighting for this eerie evening. Those who haven't visited with Dinsmoor in his Mausoleum may donate to the preservation fund to stay and chat with Mr. Dinsmoor.

Continue the journey and enjoy the progressive main course with a variety of Pastas and Snake (bread) on the menu.

Sneak across the street to the Grassroots Art Center and be prepared for more stories from bewitched spirits and spooktacular desserts.

Mail registration with fee by October 22nd to:

Lucas Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 186, Lucas, KS 67648.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mosaic Workshop

Come early to the “Haunted Evening in Lucas and participate in the Mosaic Workshop led by Mri-Pilar. Learn how to create mosaic art work. Prior registration is needed with the Grassroots Art Center for the afternoon workshop, 1:30 pm --4:30 pm at the G-wiz Garage. Class size is limited to 6 participants. Workshop fee is $15 per person. The cost of the workshop is partially funded by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Logan, KS.

Mail registration with fee by October 22nd to: Grassroots Art Center 213 South Main Street,

Lucas, Kansas 67648 785-525-6118

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Member packets off...

... to Houston TX, Salina KS, and Lincoln KS. Also, renewal thanks to California MO, and a follow-up on gift membership from Houston TX to Somewhere in MO. Slowly catching up on the work pile - I suspect H1N1 to be the secret code.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kansas Statehood Speakers Bureau

Great news from the Kansas Humanities Council today: 
Dear Erika,
The Kansas Humanities Council is delighted to inform you that your topics, Big Ideas and A Look Inside Outsider and Folk Art have been chosen for the Kansas 150 Speakers Bureau (2010-2011 catalog).  
Yay!  The first topic addresses the inspiration behind the building of very large sculptures in the public realm, while the second does exactly what it says:  looks inside the world of Outsider (untrained) Art in Kansas. 
Glad to be a continuing part of telling the stories of Kansas!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cool Kitsch

Odd attractions that dot our roadsides are true Americana

The end of summer is upon us and with it the prime season for road-tripping. That doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to the best part of some roadside attractions: the kitsch.

Giant statues of French waiters have no problem standing tall as the fall colors appear, and if a 50-foot-long green dinosaur could survive extinction, it probably can weather an Ohio winter. No matter what time of year it is, these pieces of Americana are hard to miss.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Ever have one of those months (or two) where the projects are piled up, you put your head down, and just power through?  Stressful, eh?  Well, I just realized that's what July and August has been.  It became evident today when I stopped making a list of things that HAD to be done, and it transitioned to things I WANT to get done.  See the difference?  There's a new breath of inspiration and innovation afoot.  No, it won't be easy, but people have been showing their support for what we do, projects have been re-defining and resolving themselves, and new partnerships and opportunities are ripening.
What a beautiful world - almost as beautiful as the above-posted World of Bacon, an actual constructed and photographed environment from artist Carl for an ad for Negroni:
Thanks for your support, friends, fans, and WLT Members.  Big Little Big things are comin'!

Seeking the World’s Biggest Meatball? Try Mexico.

MEXICO CITY — If Guinness World Records ever creates a category for the country most obsessed with being in the Guinness book of world records, Mexico will surely be in the running.
Yes, Mexicans take their records seriously. Days after the "Thriller" event, mariachi musicians gathered in Guadalajara, where their traditional form of music first began, to beat the record for the most mariachi musicians ever gathered in one place. In all, 549 horn blowers, bassists and violinists turned out in suits and sombreros at the International Mariachi Festival, playing the classics "Cielito Lindo" and "Guadalajara."
Read the whole story here:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Member Packets - going out today.

Wow! Whatta response! Sending out Member Packets to NY, Chicago, LA CA, Lucas and Salina and Overland Park KS, and Guthrie Center IA.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WLT Member at Balsa Man with the WSVoWLCoWSVoWLT

In a wonderful example of Big Ideas Writ Small (this year's theme for the Balsa Man event, held Sept. 5th in California), WLT Members and Fans spotted the World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Collection of the Worlds Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum on the Balsa Man Playa.

See more happenings at the Balsa Man site and blog:

Grant Writin' Time

The receipt of the Black Pebble Arts Foundation Mini Grant rekindled the fires under our collective grant-writing kiesters. Currently researching and prioritizing upcoming grant opportunities, both nationally and within Kansas. Please, forward anything you think may apply to future WLT Inc. Doin's.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Frustration and Longing for a Pre-Computer World

Interwebz taking a Labor Day Holiday? After a 24-hour non-connectivitiy period, finally got the first part of September columns to area newspapers. Oh, how things stack up... Apologies from the slackers at WLT Inc.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

From the Scottish Sun: THE world's biggest bottle of whisky will be unveiled today - and turned miniature

Dru McPherson and Mike Drury made the monster malt to put the village of Tomintoul, Banffshire, on the map.

The giant 1½metre bottle holds 105.3 litres of 14-year-old Tomintoul single malt.

A German glassmaker created the 7mm thick pyrex bottle, and a massive cork was specially made to fit.

Dru will display it in his Clockhouse Restaurant, while whisky shop boss Mike will sell normal-size replicas.

Dru, 47, said: "They will look like miniatures by comparison." He added: "The hardest part was watching the giant cork hammered in - we were dreading the noise of smashing glass."

Local MP Angus Robertson will unveil the record-breaker in the village today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From the Email Inbox: W.L. Elevated Tank, San Diego CA

An information request from a WLT Member:
I mentioned to you a water tower in my neighborhood of North Park - San Diego, CA and how I had seen a historic photo of it claiming to be the world largest elevated tank. You said you knew someone who might be able to confirm this. Can you help me out here?

I have attached that photo from 1924.  The sign in the photo reads:

"Bottom for largest elevated tank in the world

Diameter 54 feet

Height 128 feet

Capy. 1200000 gals

San Diego, Calif."

Some additional info:  Contractor was the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company, Tank is supported 50 feet above ground, Height of tank is 52 feet, Height from foundation to the overflow cap is 127.5 feet, When fully loaded the tank held approximately 5000 tons of water, Steel structural plates weighed 400 tons

Source: North Park: A San Diego Urban Village 1896-1946, Donald P. Covington, Hon Consulting Inc. 2007

I have also attached a photo of how it stands today, one of it in the context of the neighborhood and one of me dressed in my water tower costume in last year's Christmas parade.

Thanks again for creating such a wonderful collection!   V.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Fish Supper Club, Bena MN - Restoration in progress

And just in time, too - this monument was listed on the Society for Commercial Archeology's Top Ten Most Endangered Sites list, as well as a partner listing with the Minnesota State Historical Society.  We'll keep you posted on progress, as there may just be a WLT Inc. Advisor involved in the gussying up of the Big Fish Supper Club.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Giant Tucson Tiki unveiled in historic event August 29!


Tucson, Arizona- The giant  three story TIKI head from the closed Magic Carpet Golf property in Tucson has been totally resurrected and a major unveiling celebration event is scheduled August 29, 2009 at its new home The Hut on 4th Ave.   Engineering, planning, crane removal, trucking, new structural base creation and the artistic design and creation of a totally new base, has taken over 18 months to complete along with "Save The Tiki" fundraising to finance the complicated process.

The TIKI (Moai) STONE FACE is the creation of the late Lee Koplin of miniature golf fame and was fabricated by Mike Kautza who was an employee of Mr. Koplin at the time almost 40 years ago. The entirely new artistic part of the base of the three-story sculpture was designed and fabricated by Tom Prevatt, a local artist from Amado, AZ. It has been a combined effort of a number of local companies: Galileo Construction, Division 2 Construction, Broderick Engineers, Parson Steel Erectors, Marcos Crane, Caid Industries, Lanning Architects and of course The Hut to make this possible. 

The planned fundraising event for this Saturday August 29 will be historic and large numbers of Tucsonans are expected to attend as well as Tiki lovers from around the nation. One of the largest international Tiki conventions ( was held recently in San Diego, CA and two of the conventions' bands headlining The Hut dedication, The Martini Kings and the Del Reys, will be bringing their fans with them. The web site: http://www.tikicentral with over 250,000 members from around the world has publicized the happening on their web site.

Flam Chen, an internationally known Tucson based pyrotechnic theater troupe, combine with Chaz Cadaver and the music group The Mission Creeps to create a unique presentation unlike any seen before. The music for the performance "Nightmare on Tiki Island" (fun spoof) will be heard as FIRE comes out the Giant Tiki Head with a large video backdrop as Flam Chen performs.  This will be the main event scheduled for nightfall (7:50 PM). >From 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM there will be a total of 18 bands performing on three stages throughout the evening.

The Magic Carpet miniature golf at 6125 E. Speedway was a Tucson icon for over 40 years until its closure in December of 2007. The giant Tiki ( STONE FACE) was the most popular of all the unique sculptures in the park and it is estimated that over 200,00 visitors enjoyed its presence. The statue was featured in Sven Kirsten's TIKI MODERN book in 2008. He is the author of THE BOOK OF TIKI considered the best reference material on the subject.

Community support and the efforts of The Hut operators Fini Finical and Scott Mencke and their fundraising events helped by Tucson's Valley of the Moon, have made it possible for future generations to enjoy this gentle giant. Now the tallest structure on 4th Ave., it is sure to become a tourist magnet in the future.

The event will be held Saturday, August 29, at The Hut, 305 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ from 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM.  < > There is a cover charge of $15 and visitors must be over 21. This charge is to help recover the substantial expenses for the Tiki's relocation and resurrection of downtown Tucson's newest icon.

WLCoWSVoWLT Sideshow Banner unveiled TONIGHT the Lincoln Art Center, Lincoln KS.  It's part of a canvas show, with gallery talk and reception 5-7 p.m. tonight.  C'mon by and see it!  Up through September 16th.

Balsa Man! Sept. 5th, SF CA

Just sent off the Worlds Smallest Version of the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum to be a part of Balsa Man 2009 - Big Dreams Writ Small.  Find out all the facts and fun here:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

From the Email Inbox: W.L. Soup Kettle, Laona WI

Community Soup?  COMMUNITY SOUP!  August 1st... Must investigate.  I see cackling being involved...

FINALLY - Summer "Big Idea" at the Post Office

... yes, it's been hectic, so we're catching up. BUT, WLT Members and fans, the Summer issue of Big Idea is now at the Post Office, ready to go out with tomorrows mail. Yay! And, thank you for your patience.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

St. Jo MO Trails West! project

Whew!  Double-sided mural, done over the Trails West! Weekend festival in St. Joseph Missouri.  One side of the movable mural featured postcard scenes relating to St. Jo MO, while the other side featured a more free-form, flowing design which evolved from the area artists themselves.  We're uploading images to the WLT Photo Blog on Flickr:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dodge City Talk and Discovery

Yet another great time, talking about Outsider Art in Kansas through the Kansas Humanities Council.  This time, in Dodge City.
AND, while perusing the historic photos at the library, spotted a wonderful dual-sundial installation.  Mountain and Central Time used to split here, and the town erected a sundial for each, side-by-side.  The restored version is now located by the Depot, even though the split moved over to the state line...