America is not only the land of the free, it is also the land of the World’s Largest Rose Bush (Tombstone, AZ), Paper Cup (Riverside, CA), and Ball of Barbed Wire (Jackson Hole, WY). A national tendency toward the biggest things deserves a superlatively visionary advocate, and Erika Nelson is most definitively it. Nelson is the founder and proprietor of the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things, which includes miniatures of the above monuments as well as hundreds of others, all of which she has visited in person, researched and replicated in appropriate materials. Before the pandemic grounded Nelson in Lucas, Kansas, population 407 and home to a dozen grassroots art environments, including her own storefront, the Roadside Sideshow Expo (road trip, anyone?), she had plans to travel her museum around the country, as she has done for half of each of the past twenty or so years, visiting art car parades, festivals, and making scheduled appearances. Naturally, Nelson has carnivalesquely kitted out a series of trunks, wagons and vans as mobile display vehicles for bringing the WLCofWSVofWLT to the greater public. May she be able to hit the road again soon.
—Lori Waxman 2020-08-04 9:14 AM