Artist Erika Nelson photographs these special spots and then recreates them in miniature form creating a museum dedicated to the World’s Largest Collection of Smallest Versions of Largest Things.
The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things is a traveling roadside museum out of Kansas, US, by artist Erika Nelson, a pioneer of grassroots art environments, community development, and arts education.
Visible from the windows of the van are dozens of miniature giant roadside attractions, all hand-crafted by Erika: Albert the Bull, Brainerd’s Bunyan and Babe, the Talking Cow, Big Brutus, the World’s Largest Strawberry, the Largest Ketchup Bottle, and the Largest Ball of Yarn. Inside the van are more, along with research files, work space, publicity clippings, and a stack of offbeat travel guidebooks.
Erika travels alone looking for the wackiest roadside attractions. Once the World’s Largest Thing has been photographed, researched, and a site visit made, a tiny replica of the ‘thing’ is created. The replica is then added to the window displays of the van. “When possible, I bring the World’s Smallest Version back to its parent World’ Largest Thing, taking a Meta-Photo of the Big with the Small,” Erika says.
The World’s Smallest Versions of The World’s Largest Things are made from a variety of materials. For example, to replicate the world’s largest ball of rubber bands, Nelson used the miniature rubber bands one can find at an orthodontist’s office.
Based in Lucas, Kansas, Erika received a masters degree with a thesis titled “Driving Around Looking at Big Things While Thinking About Spam.” She lectures at colleges and describes herself as “one of America’s foremost experts and speakers on the World’s Largest Things.” She will also consult to Chambers of Commerce seeking their own world’s largest thing.