Art Happenings Manhole Artists Manhole Cover Topics My Art Career News-Events Other Artists Sewers Story Behind the Art Water Covers

# “Sewers of the World, Unite” in Moscow started out as an April Fool’s Joke

I see the smirks and hear the silent smiles when people discover that my art is based on sewers and manhole covers. Imagine my surprise when I learned that there was a site in Moscow specializing in the theme I pursued in sculptures and works on hand made paper.  Sewers of the World, Unite!

What is even more amusing is that this web project began on Laughter Day: April 1, 2001.  


(A Moscow Web Site)

Two enterprising artists, Alexander (Sasha) Kholopov and Natalie (Natasha) Lamanova from Moscow posed a mail art project just for fun.  They invited artists from all over the world to send photos of manhole covers.  So April’s Fools Day was the start of something “grate.”  Artists from 40 countries enthusiastically responded to the E-mail request.  

Kholopov’s unique set of manhole cover artist’s stamps had already attracted attention in Japan, a country known for many beautiful manhole covers. (See Archives)  The variety of photos, creative projects and artistically rendered covers on “Sewers of the World, Unite” has expanded to participation by 233 people from 71 countries and includes 3052 images.

Michele Brody designer of NYC Manhole Covers, introduced me to the site.


You can find me in several places: # 4   Port Jefferson NY  “Manhole Rubbing and Painting.”

Projects # 27 with works on paper



and my poem about manhole covers is on commentary # 3.


In August 2001, my husband, Al sang with Barbershop Harmony Choruses in St. Petersburg.  The next week, we met Natasha and Sasha in Moscow and were invited to their apartment for dinner.  We continue our international friendship via e-mail.  Personally I have made other friendships and benefited from this amazing web site.  Sewers of the World, Unite! 


 Alexander Kholopov, Bobbi Mastrangelo and Natalie Lamanova: Moscow, Aug. 2001 

8 replies on “# “Sewers of the World, Unite” in Moscow started out as an April Fool’s Joke”

Bobbi, I enjoyed seeing you–from Russia with love.
Take care. You –and your creativity are part of our lives, here and in Florida.

We’re back in our new home in St. James and just hung a lovely floral piece that I treasure because it is beautiful and “my friend Bobbi” created it for me!
Enjoy Easter, good health and happiness.
Much love,
Sandy Wicker
Poet, Educator

What a wonderful story–going to Moscow must have been a real treat for both of you. Much luck in the future. I’ll have to send this to my brother in Greenville, PA and let him look around for some unusual manhole covers.
Don Perotti
“Guys and Dolls”Chorus

Bobbi/Barbara :),
What an attractive email you sent out– with the Moscow manhole covers– well done. So I am still confused– are you in FL or WA? -Mark in NY 🙂
Mark Weber
Musician, Vocalist

How wonderful that you could rendezvous with the Russians. It’s an international thing now, It always has been. As long as there are covers and as long as there are observant people, there will be a love for the covers. And it is a wonderful cultural exchange.
Mary Ann Haring-Sanchez
Your Maryvale class mate of long ago

The international manhole covers are a wonderful way to unite people, something government falls short of. Art is an expression of the inner truth of who we are as human beings, inherent love, there is no better ground or footing to bring people together.
Your Friend and Dress Designer

Dear Bobbi,

Thanks for doing this and reviving the Sewer site. Sasha and Natasha have had so much else to think about these last years. But have to agree, the site is a great source and so much fun to look through.
Best regards,


Thanks again for the nice reminder. Had a note from Natasha and she is finally back to creating her art again after many difficult years. Her work was accepted in the Kracow Triennial and hopes to be able to attend in July.
Warm greetings, Anncha

Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe
that this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for
the information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *