Road trip hero.
Erika Nelson's The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things.
After Baconfest, so long ago, we bummed around a bar sipping waters to drown down the grease. I left early for a walk across the loop that was much needed to burn off the fatty bacon that was festering in my stomach. There was an event that night for Obscura Day that I needed to get to: Erika Nelson, creator of The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things, was giving a lecture.
Erika is a road tripper and artist who has devoted much of her life to visiting roadside attractions and creating a few of her own. The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things is a collection of miniatures of American roadside giants.
Unfortunately she was not able to bring her traveling museum/bus this time around (and very unfortunately it’s something I have yet to see in person). She did, however, bring her alternate mode of transportation: a fully-decked-out art car!
She gave a wonderful speech and slide show (yes, with a real slide projector) on roadside attractions, mimetic architecture, and her life on the road.
It’s funny how much I could relate to her stories. She became enamored at an early age with roadside attractions, associating directions with attractions. To me, I grew up in a town with a zoo, and so so many places had some sort of animal theme to them. And I grew up right by the Spindle and seeing it meant a trip to the shopping mall.
She showed photos and regaled stories of some of the biggest attractions she’d ever seen. She told us about her life, how she rejected what everyone told her she was supposed to do and instead decided to live her life as she wanted.
It was truly inspiring to hear from someone who had many of the same ideals as me and has made it all work out.