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2009 Flickr Group

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Are you an artist working in miniature for a Balsa Man project?

Are you somebody attending either of the l’il get togethers this Labor Day weekend, at the Mothership in San Francisco or up at the Regional Balsa Burn up in the Black Rock Desert?

Do you have a digital camera and a penchant to want to show off your snaps? If so, then please consider joining the Balsa Man Flickr group!

For inspiration, please consider what our lovely, talented friends did with last year’s Flickr group.

Temple Construction

Temple Construction

For example… there are recent additions up documenting the Temple Build. It’s almost like being there!

My Friend Flocka

My Friend Flocka

Also, there is the wonderous, whimsical, widdle (okay, that’s a stretch for an alliteration) version of Flock! You may remember seeing a large version of this project in the San Francisco Civic Center or possibly you saw it at an art festival somewhere. Well now you get to see it in miniature!

If you have pictures from this or last years’ Balsa Man builds or events please contact Colin on Flickr. Tiny art makes big memories, so be sure to share yours!

The Temple of Minor Irregularities

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

In this era of 140-character limit ubiquity, we need ways to commemorate our most fleeting of thoughts, our passing interests, our Tweets of Fancy.

One of the most wonderfully and thematically underwhelming experiences of last year’s Balsa Man event was the Temple of Reduced Expectations. The tradition of a temple to commemorate your Ritalin-addled attention span returns this Balsa Man Tiny Art Festival 2009.

An irregular temple for an irregular event

Temple of Tiny IrregularitiesNo longer part of a complete puzzle, the pieces used to create the Temple of Minor Irregularities come from all manner of puzzle boxes—each with a different story and background. Separate from their box, they no longer have a predetermined place to fit in. Each now an irregular piece, yet no more irregular than the next. The Temple becomes their home; a place that is more than a sum of its irregular parts much like the Balsa Man community.

Or I could be a huge art fag, and this is just a bunch of cardboard with puzzle pieces glued to it. I dunno, it’s art. You choose.

What does the Temple Mean to YOU?

Sacred spaces the world over are places for people to commune with forces beyond their understanding. Ideas larger than what we can logically fathom take physical form in these temples, churches, holy landmarks and places of pilgrimages.

This Temple is no different in function, just in form.

And stature… Well, and longevity.

We invite you to make an offering to the Temple of Minor Irregularities, and to the diminutive dieties you revere!

How do I send my Post-It Prayer?

  1. Find a Sticky Note pad from one of the Temple Team, or bring your own.
  2. Ensure your miniature mantras contain no more than 140 characters.
  3. Fold up your Post-It Prayer, and put it in the Temple at the appointed time.
  4. Achieve some small comfort as the Puny Pantheon sends your Post-It Prayer up in flames.

The Tiny Temple Team needs your help!

The lead architects for this year’s tiny temple are Amy Diva and Steve Gonzales, skilled artists who have worked on several amazing projects including the magnificent Crude Awakening.

In order to make this year’s temple a reality they are asking for two things:

  1. Donate your old jigsaw puzzles to the Temple Team! Red and yellow pieces are highly prized.
  2. Volunteer to help glue!

The Temple Team  are wonderful folks, and would love to make your acquaintance while gluing your collective fingers together into a huge Gordian knot of phalanges. For more info contact the Temple Team at

Balsa Man Comes to the Black Rock Desert!

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Far from the cool, sandy shores of San Francisco, the Black Rock Desert in Nevada is called home by many artistically inspired individuals. While this alkali desert is far away, ideas have a power to reach farther and faster than any Cruise America RV could ever hope.

And it is this small idea—the tiny yet wonderous idea of Balsa Man—which has flown across state lines, through Donner Pass, past the garish lights of the Peppermill Casino and taken root in the mind of at least one dust-covered creative soul.

We are pround to announce the first…

Black Rock Desert,
Balsa Man Regional

Host: Ardent Heavy Industries
(at 4:00 and Adapt)
Date: Friday, September 4th
(Labor Day Weekend)

Time: 5 to 6 pm

Join your fellow lovers of all things tiny at the Black Rock Desert!

Are you driving all the way up to the middle of nowhere in the Nevada desert, with nothing to do? Do you have a tiny art piece that would be perfect at Balsa Man but can’t make it all the way to the main event in San Francisco? Then head over to the official Black Rock Desert Balsa Man Regional!

Tiny Artists and other participants are welcome, email for more details.

Kristen Ankiewicz, Balsa Regional Lead & Czarina of Tiny Art

Your fearless Black Rock Desert Regional Lead for the Balsa Man Tiny Art Festival. Kristen Ankiewicz will be taking the helm as Balsa Man Regional Lead and Czarina of Tiny Art.

It seems that tiny art leads to big titles. This is all of course in addition to being in her own right artist extraordinaire and mastermind behind the cute and tiny monstrosities all for show at her site You can find her at Camp Ardent Heavy Industries (4:00 and Adapt) for other questions.

I, your humble guest Balsa Blogger will be another Balsa Man Tiny Art Festival — Black Rock Desert Regional Contact. (see what we mean about long titles?) I will be camping with Rathskellar, placement as yet to be determined.

If you will be missing out on the Balsa Burn on Saturday, September 5th in San Francisco, because you’ll be up at that other playa then come on over to Ardent and party with us on Friday.

And please, apply for a tiny art grant to bring some tiny art to the first Black Rock Desert, Balsa Man Regional

Facebook event page

Balsa Man Regional call for artists!

The Balsa Man Black Rock Desert Regional does not yet have a central figure! Kristen is looking for artists who would like to build the BRD Balsa Regional’s “Balsa Man” effigy. The central figure does not have to mimic the original “Balsa Man” but it should be inspiring. If you would like to build the BRD Balsa Regional’s central figure please contact

Participate! Create! Immolate!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Support for the Black Pebble Arts Foundation is taking off at a breakneck pace.  Many thanks to everybody who has donated!

Burn the Man!

We had a fabulous donation of $20 from @edrabbit (member of Interpretive Arson and creator of a miniature Dance Dance Immolation for last year’s inaugural Balsa Man). This year, he hopes that his donation might fund an artist to create a miniature version of 2πr.
We have also heard from a few artists already who are interested in creating tiny art, but we have yet to receive any formal grant requests. Participation is what makes Balsa Man grand so send us your art proposals!

Oh, come on. You know you wanna build something. Become inspired and then head on over to Tiny Art & Grants to read our Tiny Art Guidelines on how to apply for a Tiny Art Grant.

Remember, this year’s Balsa Man theme is “Big Dreams Writ Small” — art on a scale manageable to all. Your art project can be a wholely new creation that has never seen the light of day, or it can be based on art already baptised by alkali dust. Above all, your art should inspire YOU; art which you would love create on a grand scale but cannot. Take your inspiration, miniturize it, and bring it to Balsa Man…

and then set it on fire…

or not. While we do enjoy fire, we understand that not all art must be set aflame to be meaningful.