All From Just Toothpicks

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Toothpick Models of Early 20th Century Ocean Liners and Ships From The Age of Sail

14 Foot Toothpick SS America To Exhibit At the Black Couch Gallery For Public Viewing Party In West Logan Square.

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On Friday, April 15th, 2016, Wayne Kusy’s long anticipated toothpick sculpture of the SS America (1929) trans Atlantic ocean liner, will be officially launched at a viewing party event at the Black Couch Gallery 4200 W. Diversey in West Logan Square. This warehouse location is the former Hammond Organ Factory converted into artist and business space. This viewing is open to the public and the admission is free. The event starts at 7PM and ends 11PM. Though not intended, it is the night the Titanic sank.

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The SS America is 14 foot long, comprised of 270,000 toothpicks and 10 gallons of wood glue.  The ship is built from deck plans, blueprints, and mechanical drawings.  The artist also used actual photos and videos of the real ship found on the internet.  Like his previous toothpick ships, the America is built in two pieces to transverse six flights of stairs from his home and easy transport.  The 2 halves are displayed apart from each other, giving visitors a chance to see how they are crafted inside.

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Wayne Kusy is an internationally acclaimed Folk Artist who builds large-scale ocean liners between 1895 and 1950 from toothpicks.  What started out as a grammar school 5th-grade art class project, evolved into a lifelong hobby which was officially recognized as Folk Art in 1993.  He has exhibited nationally at the nation’s top museums, including a permanent exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore with a 16 foot model of the Lusitania.  Others include the Stan Hywett Museum in Ohio, the Philharmonic Museum in Naples Florida featuring the 10 foot Titanic.  His work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and TV shows worldwide from People Magazine to the Daily Mail.  From Rachel Ray to ABC World News in almost every country in the world.

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The SS America is a forerunner of the SS United States built by the United States Lines in 1939 before World War II.  The artist chose this ship as his subject because of how it sank in the Canary Islands in 2003.  More can be found on this interesting long forgotten ship on the internet. Kusy’s next ship will be the NS Bremen (1929).  This was a German liner that gave many Americans a legal way to drink during prohibition.

Contact Wayne Kusy

Ph: 773-784-3379

Cell: 773-255-2350

E: [email protected]

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