Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Edison Bulb

... The Menlo Park bulb is actually made up of a lot of little bulbs, haven't found the wattage of those to add 'em together.  But, this is neat:  Article from Feb. 1938 Modern Mechanix magazine

Monday, March 30, 2009

KCUR's Laura Spencer reviews Rare Visions Detour Art show

Artist Erika Nelson of Lucas, Kansas, co-curator Kelly Ludwig, and Michael Murphy, in front of Nelson's van full of tiny sculptures based on "World's Largest" roadside attractions.
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR
Belger Arts Center Presents Large-Scale Folk-Art Show
An exhibition, "Rare Visions – Detour Art," at the Belger Arts Center pays tribute to outsider art, works by self-taught artists that aren't often viewed in museums and galleries.

by Laura Spencer

An exhibition at the Belger Arts Center pays tribute to outsider art, works by self-taught artists that aren't often viewed in museums and galleries. There are one hundred fifty works by more than sixty artists, from around the country, from Fulton, Missouri's sign painter Jesse Howard to Georgia's Howard Finster, a preacher and folk artist who collaborated in the 1980s with bands like Talking Heads and R.E.M.

"Rare VisionsDetour Art ," Curated by: Mike Murphy & Kelly Ludwig, March 6, 2009 - May 1, 2009 at the Belger Arts Center, 2100 Walnut Street (one block east of Main) in the Belger Cartage Service building. Wednesday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm; Saturday, noon – 4 pm; First Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm, and by appointment.

I'm a Web Extra!

On KCUR, Kansas City Public Radio, in association with the Rare Visions Detour Art Show at the Belger Art Center...

Friday, March 27, 2009

MP3s of Shows Now Online

Just uploaded the few MP3s of WLT interviews to our site, in the Meet the Press:  Radio section.
When we find more, we'll add 'em in!  For now, enjoy the Recent Past Walt Bodine show from Thursday, a Minnesota conversation about Big and Little from 2005, a Houston program about Outsider Art from 2006, and a KFRM radio show from 2006.
Just look for the MP3 link under the listing for the program.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great Show!

You'll be able to hear archives online within the day...
Interview with Mike Murphy of Rare Visions, and Mo Dickens from Belger Arts Center on the Walt Bodine show, about the Rare Visions/Detour Art exhibition.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walt Bodine Show: THURSDAY, March 26: Folk Art Talk with "Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations"

"Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations," is a popular, Kansas City-based television program featured on public television. The program has taken viewers across the country to see lesser-known art of lesser-known places, and to meet the people who create it.  We'll talk about memorable experiences and sites from the show's travels. Plus, hear about an exhibit in Kansas City featuring the very rare visions that make up the show.
Listen live online, Thursday at 10:00 a.m.:

Wooden Nickels and Member Packets

... going out tomorrow before a Salina trek to re-connect with Artist Exchange participants from the last 3 years. See the original project (a look at the events leading up to the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum) in our WLT Archives:

Artist Exchange Project - behind the scenes of WLT

and the Flickr Photo set:

Photos of the Panel Project

Rare Visions/Detour Art Show profiled on tomorrow's Walt Bodine Show

You can listen live online:

KCUR dot org

Or, if you miss it (10:00 a.m., Thursday March 26), you can listen to archived programs.

You'll be introduced to some GREAT folk Art around the country. Mike Murphy from Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, and Mo Dickens from the Belger Art Center are guests...

If you didn't make the opening on March 6th, this will give you a good audio tour of the show! The WLCoWSVoWLT is a part of the exhibition, and will be on-view through May 1.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Whats Large Where off to the papers!

And, as a reminder to WLT Members - we do have an online archive for Members Only.  If you'd like access, I just need to add your email address to the Blogger permissions page.

Friday, March 20, 2009

World's Largest Sword

at the National Knife Museum, Gatlinburg Tennessee. Made by Brian Wilhoite, who works at Smoky Mountain Knife Works and the guy that designed the Sword in the Stone. He designs knives and advertising that you see in the shop and in the catalog.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Member Packets out in the mail...

...New and Renewals, containing the special Limited Edition WLT Wooden Nickels!

Enjoy, and don't spend 'em all in one place...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NEW World's Largest Popcorn Ball!

Photos:  Andrea Melendez - Des Moines Register
The folks of Sac City Iowa have re-gained their title, as reported by the Des Moines Register, February 28, 2009. 

HEIGHT: 7 feet, 4 1/2 inches

CIRCUMFERENCE: 28 feet, 8 inches

Hannah Schmidt, 10, of Sac City, tries to clean the bottom of her shoes between rounds of packing.

Workers wear gloves so they can touch the hot popcorn ball material without it sticking to their hands.

The backs of the participants' shirts show their determination.

Jack Bensley of Odebolt catches freshly made popcorn ball material as it comes off the conveyor belt. Sac City Townsfolk attempted to build the world's largest popcorn ball. They have set the record twice before, only to be upstaged by Boy Scouts in 1997 and an Illinois popcorn maker in 2006. They spent all day on Saturday packing the sugary popcorn onto a platform. They want to bring the title back to Iowa.

The popcorn ball material is dumped from the pot onto a conveyor belt where it cools a little and then is dumped into buckets and then packed onto the ball.

More Popcorn Ball Drama!

Popcorn Ball Supremacy - March 3, 2009

In small town America, there's a ceaseless struggle underway for recognition. Sac City, Iowa, makes its mark as home of the World's Largest Popcorn Ball, a title the town lost for a time, but has snatched back with a new, super-sticky corn boulder.


Read the whole story on Roadside America's Trunkations pages:  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/blog/popcorn-ball-supremacy/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why I Love My Job - Bowling Ball Field

During the recent Belger Arts Center opening, I met this wonderful man, who told me a bit about his bowling ball field in a small town south of Kansas City.  In today's mail, I received the full story:
I have this little slab house on 28 acres in the country.  I had a bowling ball a few years ago and told the grandkids who are onery as hell and bang around in this little house when they come to visit that a big bird had been on the property and they needed to go out on the trails I have mowed and find his nest.  They came in all excited after they found it.
I thought this is kinda fun so I got a couple of bowling balls at a garage sale the next week and then when they came out I had two nests.  Well, it went on for a year or two and I must have had about 18 bowling balls scattered around in nests all over the place and they came in after a search and yawned and said, "Grandpa, thems just bowling balls." 
Well what to do with 18 bowling balls.  I had a tent in the garage that the mice ate but the poles were functional so I took them up in this three acre field by the road and stuck them up in the thumb holes and people started stopping by asking what the hell is this?  I went out after the mail one day and there were two bowling balls just laying there by the mailbox. 
I kept adding to the collection and when I had over a hundred bowling balls somebody called the Kansas City newspaper and they came out and did an interview and put a picture of the whole silly thing on the front page.  I got calls from all over.  I did an interview with a radio station while I was on the crapper that morning.  A lady from the next little town called and asked if I needed any more bowling balls and I figured she had a couple so I said sure and she showed up with bowling balls sticking up beyond the back of her pickup and dumped a hundred and twenty more. It seems her sister bought a bowling alley and closed it and opened a furnature store at the location and dumped all the bowling balls out on her sisters farm.
Today there are more than 350 bowling balls in that field and it has taken on a life of it's own.  People are coming by all the time and whenever a friend comes by I save up my newly aquired bowling balls so they can put one up.  I have everybody who comes by put one up of my most recent aquisitions so they can't talk about the crazy old guy with the bowling ball field because they are an accessory and put one up, too.  We live 30 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri, outside a little town named Freeman. 
There you have it.  Well, except for the fact that it is a big deal in my little town that every new years eve I drop a bowling ball into a bucket of horse shit in front of city hall at midnight Rome time.  About 5 in the afternoon here.
2018 Update:  The Parkers have moved, so the bowling ball field is now closed.

Detour Art Show Images on Flickr

For those of you who  missed the opening, QueenODesign and NarrowLarry are now uploading their finds on Flickr:

Rare Visions/Detour Art Show Opening

Great event!  And, you can finally see some images, uploaded by photographers at the scene (AND, who just happen to have provided most of the collection - Miss Detour Art herself!)
Check out her Flickr Photo Stream here:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

KCUR Public Radio interview

Laura Spencer from KCUR stopped by the Belger Arts Center in Kansas City's Crossroads district for a pre-opening night look at the new Rare Visions/Detour Art show, on display through May 1st.

Listen for the final piece in the near future, or find it online once it's edited:

KCUR Kansas City Public Radio 89.3FM

And, come by and see the show!

Belger Arts Center

Wednesday, March 4, 2009