Trash Turned into Playful Art at Toy and Miniature Museum: New Temporary Exhibit Opens March 6

KANSAS CITY, MO—Trash or Treasure? The Curious Items and Strange Artifacts of Just Colcord, the first museum exhibition of the RAW artist, will open on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City and run through June 9, 2013.

Colcord explores the streets of Kansas City for discarded treasure to transform into characters with elaborate stories— a robot or a wizard with a miniature lair. Each creation evolves from the trash of others, repurposed and reborn into a new lifecycle. For Colcord, art is an experimental process, an expression of nostalgia for his own childhood.

Trash or Treasure? begins with found and repurposed materials as unassuming as bottle caps and screws melded with literature and pop culture inspiration and Colcord’s own imagination. From there, figures are born with definitive personalities, unique life experiences, companions, enemies, friends, and even birthdays. Colcord’s figures, along with his handmade sets, star in several stop motion films included in the exhibit.

“His art is a reminder that toys are not just for kids and play is not just for childhood. Art is play. It is something evolving and organic that you engage with,” said museum educator Laura Taylor. Featured in Colcord’s universe of figures on exhibit are a heist team of eight headed by Mr. Fixit, a dark character outfitted with rope and suction cup to scale the museum’s cases after hours.

Colcord expanded his artwork after a trip to the museum. “I had been making toys and gardens but I hadn’t really made environments until I came to the Museum—then I started making the toys their own miniature museums,” said Colcord.

Colcord is a self-trained artist who began creating toys out of found materials in 2011. He usually spends a year exploring a particular vein of art—his past endeavors have included a cast of puppets, handmade jugging balls, and carved wooden wands.

Admission, Hours and Additional Information

Trash or Treasure? The Curious Items and Strange Artifacts of Just Colcord is included with museum admission, which is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and $5 for children ages 5-12. Admission is free for children 5 and under and for members of the Toy and Miniature Museum.

The Toy and Miniature Museum is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. Located at 5235 Oak Street on the University of Missouri- Kansas City campus, the museum is just minutes from the Country Club Plaza.

Don’t miss Adults-Only Night on Thursday, March 7 and Thursday, April 25 from 5-8pm to experience Colcord’s evolving, organic characters in stop motion films, talk with the artist, and use your own imagination to create a character and storyline from recycled items. Free admission to this event.

Celebrating the Past and Envisioning the Future The Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City is devoted to the art of the imagination. Since 1982, the Museum has delighted visitors with the world’s largest collection of miniatures, well-loved antique toys and marbles. With 38 rooms to explore and year-round programming, the Museum experience is a joyful reconnection with the beauty and craft of play. Discover the Museum for the first time, or the hundredth time, during the Museum’s yearlong 30th anniversary celebration and as its transitions to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. For more information, call 816.235.8000 or visit


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