Wednesday, July 11, 2012

i'm obsessed with mark cline

i have to be honest, this is one of the very first people that i wanted to write about when i started this blog. i've had these photos prepared for months. but, i couldn't start. mark cline's artwork is one of my absolute favorite things i've come across while living in southwestern virginia, and i always worry about not doing justice to the things that i love. i could talk about him and his art for hours.

when it comes down to it, mark cline creates roadside attractions. he has also done commissions for theme parks, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and even broadway. he also creates april fools' jokes that stay up during the month of april, and usually disappear without a trace.

one of his most famous april fools' jokes was left up, due to the well-received response. you may have heard of it before? it's called foamhenge.

hi austin!
that wizard's face is a friend of mark's death mask. one of the weirdest/coolest tributes i've ever seen.

we took instax pictures at foamhenge (which, in case you couldn't tell, is an exact replica of stonehenge made out of foam) before heading to ryan and bekuh's wedding on our 2 year anniversary. i think we may make it a little tradition. i love this place!

in 2011, the location mark chose for his april fools' joke was really close to my grandma's house, and after driving past it a couple of times, my friend kayla and i decided to take a closer look. by walking up a muddy hill the day before he took it down. good timing! :)

this truck was parked at the bottom of the hill, and people had left little notes of praise in the windows <3
i'm pretty sure we weren't meant to make this trek, but i needed a closer look!
soon after the april fools' joke was taken down, austin and i finally decided to go visit mark's main attractions at natural bridge: the haunted monster museum and dinosaur park. we weren't disappointed. in fact, we were pleasantly surprised to find that mark himself was giving our tour of the museum! i was kind of starstruck and probably said some idiotic things, but he was perfect. i told him how much we loved his jack and the beanstalk april fools' joke, and he told us a story about how he was asked to remove it by some town leaders. his reaction was something along the lines of, "their parents never took them to disneyworld." he was just such a positive person and such a treat to get to meet. we bought tshirts after our tour, and i told a couple that had gone through it with us how much i love his work (i actually said "i looooove mark cline") and then the person selling us our tshirts asked if we'd like them signed. we said yes, and she said "dad, could you sign their tshirts?" oh my gosh, i was so embarrassed. imagine if you heard some goofy girl gushing over your father! haha.

most of the pictures that i took of the monster museum and all of the pictures that i took of the dinosaur park were instax pictures, but there are a ton still on his website, if you're interested. the dinosaur park was a re-imagining of the civil war, if dinosaurs were involved. it was hilarious and interactive and self-guided and we loved it.

unfortunately, in the last month, both the monster museum and the dinosaur park were destroyed by a pretty huge fire. this isn't the first fire of mark's career, as his first studio was burned in a very similar manner. mark handled it in stride (better than i did, to be honest), and made sure to explain that he was going to keep creating, and he was glad that people had the memories of his work.. because happiness is all that he strives for. the interview in the news article that i linked is a pretty perfect representation of this guy.

earlier this year, mark was honored with an exhibit at the local art museum: the taubman. there was some really ridiculous controversy about it, calling what mark does "not art." i got pretty fired up about this for months, and would debate anyone that seemed to agree in any way. folk art IS art. whatever. his pieces looked awesome in their exhibit, and i was so happy to see them in this environment.

i know that this is picture overload, but i couldn't help sharing everything! i can't wait to see what mark thinks up next. <3


  1. Thank you for sharing this- his work is fabulous!! I've never heard of him, but I can completely understand how you'd be starstruck by meeting him. I love the sign with reasons not to deface his sculptures, where #2 is that he might be hiding and watching you right now! lol So wonderful & quirky.

    1. "I'll let you scratch on Foamhenge as I do the same to your parked vehicle" haha! So perfect!

  2. I loooove the giant prank! "Have Stalk, Will Climb" - how clever! The butterfly rhino is very cool as well :) Thank you for sharing his work! I hope you continue to document your Mark Cline adventures.

    ps the death mask kind of creeps me out... it is a pretty thoughtful tribute though!

  3. You are so adorable and I love your outfit! x