Stan, the toothpick man

art_sydneyopera If someone had asked me a few years ago what materials I would not combine with balloons, toothpicks probably would have been high on my list. But that was a few years ago. Now I'm interested in the challenge of integrating them in a single sculpture.

I've recently been spending some time with an old friend, Stan Munro. We met years ago when Stan was an early morning TV news guy here in Rochester. After he left town, we lost touch until a year ago when we met in a rather unusual way. We were both visiting New York City, unbeknownst to each other. I don't want to even think about the odds of a chance meeting. At any given time, there are something like eight million people in NYC. Somehow, we bumped into each other.

We were each in the city for different reasons that week. I was at an awards ceremony for the Society of Unique Artists. Stan was showing off his work at Maker Faire. I had heard that Stan gave up his TV career for a shot at the big time, making his mark on the world with toothpicks. Or maybe I should say he took a shot at the small time, recreating the world, one building at a time with toothpicks. Stan has created scale models of quite a few famous buildings from around the world including the Tower Bridge of London, The Eiffel Tower, and Yankee Stadium.

photoStan was instrumental in connecting us with the Phelps Arts Center, which is, of course what made it possible for us to create The Swing. He didn't stop with just making the connection for us. He showed up at various times during the month long event and helped out. During the Sauerkraut Weekend he stood at the corner of Main St. and directed traffic to the exhibit. He even got the folks at his old TV station, 13 WHAM to let him do an interview on the air with me, just like years ago.

Check out Stan's work at Toothpick World. If you have suggestions on how we can combine our unique art forms, we'd love to hear from you. Please leave comments on our blog, on Facebook, or email us. We want to do a project together. We just haven't figured out yet what it will entail.