COLORADO SPRINGS – A tiny, sprawling, statuesque town sits inside the Michael Garman Museum, as well as the building’s namesake, a man of several hats.
“I’m a sculptor, an engineer, a marketer, and a ne’er-do-well,” commented Michael Garman, “So once I get bored with one, I can slip to the other one.”
Buildings, lights, barbershops and people all contribute their unique charms to this diverse cityscape; and they all act, in a way, as Garman’s autobiography.
“I left Fort Worth, Texas when I was 18 years old, just on the bum, hitchhiking,” he continued.
Stopping and going through 13 countries, a number of states, and big cities; he captured sights and remembered characters that would later be recreated his own way with his own hands.
“So this is part of what I’ve lived through.”
And the way he lived through it was one day, one hour at a time.
“I just take one step in front of the other one until I get there,” he mused, “And that’s what I think I’ve done with my life and my work, including Magic Town.
Magic Town, already 3,000 square feet worth of miniature city, has grown and evolved since 1975. However, as Garman explains, even his creativity has its limits. However, that doesn’t stop him.
“I hit walls all the time, I just don’t let that stop me, I guess. I either go over it, around it, dig under it or something. And also in life, I’ve almost thought that, I just don’t quit.”
However, several months back, the artist’s health took a turn for the worse.
“[I] left about a year ago to California, to die,” Garman remembered.
Confined to a wheelchair, Garman’s outlook wasn’t good.
But soon, things changed, “[I] had an operation about six months ago, that was absolutely miraculous.”
Following quadruple bypass surgery and the removal of several blood clots, Garman felt like he had a new lease on life, “It’s a cliche, but that’s what it amounts to! My creative juices are flowing again and there’s nothing like it.”
So now he’s back in Colorado Springs, back in his studio, and back at Magic Town.
“Now I’m ready to… continue making some things in Magic Town and sculpting new characters, because I’m sculpting new characters right this minute.”
But one thing, one item on the agenda that has this creative spirit especially excited, is the potential for a little change to his massive, but miniature, metropolis.
“I would really love to go in and dramatize Magic Town, using it almost like a stage set.”
This means light and sights directing guests from scene to scene, possibly telling a short story.
“Good things are happening, real good things.”
Going forward, in spite of often taking things day by day, it seems as though this longtime creative has a plan.
“This has been a ball. Well, really my whole life, I’ve just enjoyed the hell out of it. Even the bad days, in retrospect, are good days because those are the learning days. So… no, probably not going to quit,” Garman said.
For more information on the Michael Garman Museum, the sculptures, the artist himself, and Magic Town, you can follow THIS LINK.