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...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another great lecture day!

Wonderful talk with the Park City (KS) folks - it was a return visit, after they enjoyed the World's Largest Things lecture last year.  This one was "Inside Outsider Art", which crosses over nicely with World's Largest Things and Art Cars.
These are booked through the Kansas Humanities Council, and we're hoping to be included in the next season with some related topics...
Thanks, Park City, for the second visit opportunity!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

WLCoWSVoWLT Sideshow Banner

We've been working on a WLT Sideshow Banner for the first part of August, and delivered it today.  It'll be a part of the "Against the Grain" canvas show at the Lincoln (KS) Art Center, August 28 - October 16th.  Join us for the opening hoo-ha August 28th, 5-7 p.m., and take a gander at the banner with your very own eyes.  Or, check out the Flickr photo blog for a few detail shots:
It's sparked a whole 'nother throught process, for a portable version of the WLCoWSVoWLT, Sideshow-style...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tiny Arts Grants for Balsa Man 2009

Today, WLT Inc. sent off our donation to the Black Pebble Arts Foundation, as well as applying for a Tiny Art Grant in support of our contribution to the event, scheduled to happen September 5th on Baker Beach.  This is a call to all Art Car Artists to send in a replica (to Balsa Man, man!) of their Art Car, and be a part of the Art Car Camp.  You will have to register with the Division of Miniature Vehicles, but I'll keep you posted as to other requirements to be a part of this mini-mega event.

Friday, August 7, 2009

World's Largest Meatball, Cancun Mexico

As a promo for an upcoming film "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs", Sony Pictures produced the World's Largest Meatball.  The Guinness-certified Meatball was created by Ritz Carlton hotel executive chef Rainer Zingrebe on August 4th, 2009.  It weighed in at 109 pounds.  The pool of the Ritz Carlton was decorated with replica giant meatballs and floating plates of spaghetti, along with a giant slice of pizza, large donut, and an ear of corn.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a computer-animated parody film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It is scheduled for a theatrical release on September 18, 2009 (also in 3D) and is inspired by the children's book of the same name by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. The film features the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, James Caan, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Al Roker, and many more known personalities.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Community invited to be part of World’s Largest Things “movable mural” celebrating Northwest Missouri’s culture and heritage

New art-on-site project at Trails West!® Festival, Aug. 21-23, Civic Center Park, St. Joseph, Mo.

ST. JOSEPH, MO. — You and your family are invited to be part of an enormous piece of art, way too big to hang on the fridge – and a lot more exciting.

Now celebrating its 17th year, the Trails West! ®  arts festival, Aug. 21-23, St. Joseph, Mo., will feature the creation of a very large movable mural. The mural will be facilitated by professional artist Erika Nelson, the national artist, author and roadside art expert who created The World's Largest Things, Inc., a traveling roadside art museum through the Kansas Arts Commission "Arts on Tour" program. (

The mural created at Trails West!® will feature images from the community's past and present. The "canvas" is a series of doors, hinged together accordion style. Guests at Trails West!® are invited to watch the art unfold, and be part of it by adding their own images.

"Being part of the World's Largest Things project means we will create a one-of-a-kind showcase of St. Joseph's unique cultural heritage," says Martha Greer, Fine Art Committee Chair, Trails West!® 2009. "It will be huge. It will be beautiful. And it helps tell all of our stories."

Volunteers interested in being part of the project are invited to meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, at the festival grounds at Civic Center Park, St. Joseph, Mo. Shifts are available throughout the weekend. Art supplies will be provided, but participants are also welcome to bring their own. For more information, contact Martha Greer, Fine Arts Coordinator, Trails West!®, by email at or call 816-271-4121.

Now in its 17th year, Trails West!® will offer main stage musical acts including a nationally-acclaimed blues/rock guitarist who regularly plays with legends (Clapton, anyone?); an Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Artist;  and a multi-platinum 80s rock band.  Throughout the weekend, enjoy outstanding Midwestern fine artists and crafters, non-stop family entertainment and tantalizing food, August 21-23rd, 2009, at Civic Center Park in historic downtown St. Joseph – for admission of about $2 a day.

         Trails West!® is an arts festival celebrating the unique cultural heritage of St. Joseph. A program of the Allied Arts Council, the festival is coordinated by a volunteer steering committee, and receives financial assistance from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County Commission, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, visit

Erika Nelson is a visionary artist, educator and one of America's foremost experts and speakers on the World's Largest Things. She is a national researcher and speaker on Grassroots Art environments, Roadside Attractions and Architecture, and the World's Largest Things. Nelson is also the founder and curator of a unique and innovative traveling roadside attraction and museum called "The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wallace Keller, Mt. Horeb Wisconsin, passed away August 4th 2009.

We found out through comments on an earlier post featuring this wonderful World's Largest Things creator:
Wallace Keller, 79, was mowing when his tractor turned over and caught fire.  His brother rescued him, and Wally was air-lifted to a hospital, where he passed away.  His family and friends have been posting remembrances both online and on the WLT Director's FaceBook posting, and Wally and his creations will be sorely missed by the Roadside community.
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August WWLW to Papers

We're soooo happy to have a new set of sources for WWLW columns, with Canada and Australia documentation. And, more countries are jumping on the "Bigger is Better" bandwagon, so we're featuring a more global set of 'things' this year... And, as always, Members get WWLW in their Email Inboxes weekely (or, bi-weekly during the busy season - we need to get back on the ball between mega-projects!)