When Setting Becomes Character

Allison Maruska

I went to the coolest place today.

These displays are part of the Michael Garman Museum and Gallery. They are a vast collection of the artist’s work, set up in a miniature city called Magic Town.


I’m sharing the experience with you because one thing (or rather thousands of little things) kept me glued to the displays for over an hour – the incredible attention to detail that made the setting come alive.

Magic Town is a slice of American history, showing part of a likely impoverished city that suffers from neglect yet houses the most interesting people. If you go back to the video, you’ll hear a voice – that’s the hologram bartender telling a story. And while the figures obviously couldn’t talk, their appearances and positions told a story.


I told my son to imagine what it would be like to be small enough to walk through the…

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