Tiny Shanty Burn Report from Minneapolis

Sunday marked the first annual Tiny Shanty's Tiny Fire Arts Festival! It was the first Balsa Regional of 2010 and the first ever Midwest Balsa Regional. The regional balsa burn also marked the closing of the magical Tiny Shanty and which was one of the star attractions at the Art Shanty Project, an art festival on the beautiful frozen Medicine Lake.

Cali "Starfive" Mastny was the organizer and creative mastermind behind the entire Tiny Fire Arts Festival including the amazing Paul Balsa Bunyan! I was especially tickled to see that her majestic Tiny Star Tree which had been at both the Black Rock Balsa Regional and the Balsa Man main event was also in appearance in the Tiny Shanty! For her amazing dedication and hard work, I personally presented her a tiny check from the Black Pebble Arts Foundation for $20! [vimeo]9364025[/vimeo]

The Minneapolis Burn Report!

by Colin Fahrion Near dusk, the excited participants converged for the Tiny Fire Arts Festival as snow gently drifted down. The amazingly detailed Paul Balsa Bunyan Man was raised upon a beautiful metal petal which rested—naturally—upon stack of logs. Near the foot of the Balsa Bunyan Man, small matchstick men gathered.

The murmurs in the crowd soon turned to an uproar as the tiny fire conclave sauntered forth swinging their puny fire poi and stubby fire staffs! It was an exciting performance—I must say both in numbers and skill the six member Minneapolis fire conclave bested the two member Balsa Man conclave.

After the tiny fire performance, Cali stepped forth and lit Paul Balsa Bunyan. Like the Balsa Man burn, it was a chaotic firey and explosive feast for the eyes which was both all too brief yet still rich and fulfilling. As the fireworks died down, the crowd ran forward lit their tiny sparklers and ran around the embers!

It wasn't over though as other tiny art was on hand including:

It was a magical amazing tiny burn, everyone walked away with smiles on their faces. Personally, I was overjoyed by it all and came away brimming with fresh ideas about how to improve Balsa Man itself. I thank Cali Mansty, the Tiny Shanty crew, and all the wonderful Minneapolis Balsa Burners who I met and made me feel at home. I came home to San Francisco creatively inspired and many a friend richer.

More photos & video: