Manhole Mania: Favorites from October Manhole Madness


In my last blog I introduced Michelle Ward’s Ambitious Project October Manhole Madness 2016. Every day of the month featured a different manhole marvel. If you have time to peruse the 31 day Manhole Cover Theme, you will be captivated (by the caps and covers of course.) Here are some of my favorite features:

October 4th:

I was happy to see the inclusion of Mimi Melnick’s Book “Manhole Covers” with photos by her husband Robert. For several decades Mimi and I were cheerleaders for each other’s work.


I also enjoyed Kim Christiansen’s Rubbings. He enhances his rubbings with dynamic, colorful additions. You can view his works at Kim and I were both featured in Modern Casting Magazine (Sept. 2010) Artists: Bobbi Mastrangelo & Kim Christiansen “SHAKEOUT: From Streets to Galleries,” page 56.

October 12th: Ildiko Laszlo’s Industrial Photos are impressive. She has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Budapest (where she was born) and Italy over time, each place and culture adding color to my photographic palette. She loves light and has a insatiable curiosity for mystery and the enchanting. Her California residence, has a driveway constructed with stonework and found iron lids of all shapes from scrapyards. The adjacent retaining walls are ornamented with tile, glass, and every kind of brick.

Ildiko-lLszlo Manhole Cover Diveway
Ildiko-lLszlo Manhole Cover Diveway

Oct. 16: Russ Muits has been on the hunt for nearly ten years – finding great covers and taking prints from them Storm Print City. He also created a collection of goods that benefit the children of Flint. Water cover prints turn around and give back to improve water in an area that has been traumatized. http://Prints for Flint
Oct. 22 :    City Shields by Louise Levergneux

City Shields by Louise Levergneux

City Shields by Louise Levergneux

is a photographic documentation that takes the viewer on a walking journey through the urban streets of various Canadian, Scottish and American cities. This work collects souvenirs of travelled cities around the world using manhole covers to depict exploration of geographical locations along the artist’s life journey.

Oct. 23 Cover Girl: Bobbi Mastrangelo
Michelle Ward generously covered almost every aspect of my manhole art from post cards to prints to sculpture:
Bobbi Post Card Albums

Post Card Book: “Grate Works” by Bobbi Mastrangelo

Oct 26:  Dwight Pritchett  Dwight refers to his rubbings as “lifts.”  That is a new term for us, but that is what they are.  Dwight makes the impression of a cover with conte crayon on canvas.  Then he returns to his studio to complete the original “Lift.”
He says he takes inspiration from the lighting, surrounding color and environment to finish the composition. Some of his titles tell you exactly what time he was on the streets.  He tells the story better – see it here: Pritchett has been invited to contribute his story and photos on “Grate Thoughts,” Soon we will learn more about his fascinating art.

Dwight Pritchett
Dwight Pritchett

Dwight Pritchett: The Sister Bridges at 6:00 AM
Dwight Pritchett:
The Sister Bridges at 6:00 AM

Oct. 28 Michele Brody is a mixed media installation artist.  Michele is a manhole cover designer too! Recovering the City Scape is a public art project that recognizes lost New York City history, specifically buildings which no longer exist. Special cast covers, designed by Michele which reference architectural details of these buildings, will be placed near their locations.  Michele Brody’s historically oriented project begins with one unique cover designed to reference the former Assay Office.
Day 28 Read about Michele Brody’s Tours! of  NY Underfoot and her Urban Illuminations based on manhole covers: 

Michele Brody’s Assay Cover
Michele Brody’s Assay Cover

Oct. 31 The Conclusion of October Manhole Madness:

Thanks to Michelle Ward for a fascinating topic explored in depth. Your readers love circles + pattern. They loved observing the differences and similarities in the common objects you championed


Thanks Michelle for also including Alexander Kholopov’s Artistamps based on manhole covers on Day 31. You may read more about him on my memorial tribute:

Alexander Kholopov
Alexander Kholopov
The Best Sewerage for the Best People, 1996 Artistamp Series
The Best Sewerage
for the Best People,
1996 Artistamp Series

Some of you may enjoy checking out every day of October Manhole Madness 2016.  You can always find it in Michelle Ward’s Archives.

Both Michelle and her participants would love your comments on her blog. Feel free to add your favorites on this blog also.


8 replies on “Manhole Mania: Favorites from October Manhole Madness”

Bobbi, thanks for sharing your favorites. So many inspiring stories about one of our favorite subjects! I’m still finding more and more things I’d love to share so maybe we will have another Manhole Madness Month next year. Thanks for being such a big part of it and for sharing your kind words with all the guests on the blog.

Bobbi, I had no idea there were so many others that did this “crazy” work. Isn’t it grate that so many others see beauty in the simplistic. If a manhole cover could think and talk, would they wonder why they are so popular!?
Cousin Chris

Bobbi’s work is beautiful. I have a collection of many of her early postcards. Bobbi encouraged me to create my own postcards which I have been doing for several years. Meanwhile, I have been the principal draftsman for a NJ foundry and have created many of the designs and made the original patterns for mass producing those designs. My personal favorite is the “Fish Curb”.

Just…wow!! I love the manhole cover artwork you have done! If I was there in person, I would have to be pried away from looking at your work! Amazing! Thanks to you and Michelle for sharing it with us!!

Leave a Reply

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