History of Balsa Man

When Balsa Man first began in 2008, it was nothing more than a dream, a badly done wooden figure, and some cheap lighter fluid. This dinky janky figure and it’s tiny flame fueled a huge bonfire of joy for literally dozens of people! As the years went by, the Balsa Man got more and more refined and more and more people came — not only to experience but also to participate by making their own tiny art! Soon regional Balsa Man events sprouted up around the world!

Each year, the Balsa Man founder, Colin Fahrion, and all the amazing staff of Balsa Man strove to add a new creative twist to the event. Of course, like any art event it had its share of controversies too — like the ticket fiasco of 2011 and the dramatic relocation of the event in 2012. However, all the participants who braved these hurdles walked away transformed in some tiny magical way.

Past Themes of Balsa Man

Balsa Man 2008

The first year of Balsa Man! The Temple of Reduced Expectations was magical!

Balsa Man 2009

Big Dreams, Writ Small! Balsa Man year two when the Balsa Man Org was birthed and we started Tiny Grants for Tiny Artists! This was also the first year of the Black Rock Balsa Man Regional!

Balsa Man 2010

The Forged Village! The year of expanding community. Balsa Man regionals expanded to all over the world — San Diego, Boston, Minniapolis, London, and Tokyo! This year saw the release of the first edition of Dress Warm, the Balsa Man newspaper!

Balsa Man 2011

Growing Pains! After the explosion of attendees the Balsa Man org starts selling tickets for the first time — which was a bit of a fiasco. Make sure to check out the 2011 edition of Dress Warm!

Balsa Man 2012

Chance! In trying to manage the ticket fiasco of last year Balsa Man org held Balsa Man Bingo and Three Card Monte events for participants to get tickets. This was the last year of Balsa Man which was held at a new location due to polite request from the federal park service.

Balsa Man 2013

Flotsam & Jetsam! This year marked the year of letting go. There was no official event this year. The Balsa Man Org disbanded and encouraged Balsa Burners to see this not as an end but a beginning. We encouraged all to take the spirit and creativity of Balsa Man and forge their own events!