Balsa Man 2020 - build and share tiny art in Oakland

Balsa Man is coming! 2020-01-19T19:00:00Z2020-01-20T01:00:00Z

Bring your tiny project, or make something at the event!
If you want to volunteer, use this form
Complete event details follow…

Balsa Man 2020

Balsa Man is back! We’re bringing all the bitty balsa burners back together for a special reunion Balsa Man event at the Oakland Museum of California on Sunday, January 19th 2020!

  • 11am–5pm: The Balsa Man city comes to life! Bring tiny art or build it on site in our Tiny Art Workshop; then watch the city grow throughout the day!
  • 7pm-9pm: Balsa Man art burn! location TBD (details about the burn will not be released online; the only way to find out is to participate during the day)

Balsa Man 2020 is part of the OMCA No Spectators exhibit which runs October 12, 2019–February 16, 2020. Come to Balsa Man and then explore the exhibit to see (too) big art that was inspired by the tiny art of Balsa Man!

If you missed the Balsa Man events which ran from 2008-2012, we encourage you to visit History of Balsa Man.

2020 Theme: On Display

When the Balsa Man Organization got back together for this special Balsa Man, we knew that the first item on the agenda was to come up with the theme for 2020. We know how much the participants of Balsa Man enjoy the themes and how it inspires creativity.

The theme for Balsa Man 2020 is On Display!

When everyone is a participant and there are no spectators what does it mean to be on display ?

We encourage you to use this little theme to explore your art and creativity! Of course, we don’t want you to limit yourself. All tiny art that fits the 1/16th scale will be acceptedhowever art that fits the theme may get better placement.

How to Participate

It is the participants who bring their creativity in the form of tiny art that make Balsa Man the amazing event that it is!

Tiny Art Workshop at the Event!

The Balsa Man 2020 event will be like no other as we will have a full tiny art construction workshop at the event on Sunday with balsa wood, cardboard, tools, coloring supplies, and glue! You are of course welcome and encouraged to spend days, even weeks, ahead of time to make your art; however, you can also just show up at the event and make art there!

We encourage you to come early, build some tiny art, your own teeny tent, or a diminutive dome! The Dept of Tiny Works will then assist with placement in our 1/16th scale Balsa Man city! We look forward to seeing all of your creativity flood the tiny city with art over the course of the day!

Kids Teeny Tents & Tiny Art Build Day, Friday January 17th

The Balsa Man Organization will also be hosting a special event for kids at the Museum on Friday, January 1 7th 2020 . People of all ages are welcome at the main Balsa Man event but this build day will be focused on providing a safe construction workshop for little ones. We will have teeny tent making supplies and other kid friendly art materials. Kids can take their art home or mark it for placement on the Balsa Man city map and leave it so it can be added to the city on Sunday!

Volunteering for Balsa Man

The Balsa Man Organization will also be needing volunteers for out diminutive Gate and Department of Tiny Works volunteers on the day of. If you would like to volunteer please email All official volunteers get a Balsa Man 2020 patch!

More Ways To Participate

There are even more ways to participate! You can host a Tiny Art Build party, you help write for the Balsa Blog, or even host a regional Balsa Man event in your home town! For more information on participating as and artist or volunteer please visit Participate

Get the Balsa Man 2020 Patch!

Balsa Man 2020 patches are now available for purchase! 50% of all proceeds go to support the Oakland Museum of California! You can purchase patches at the Museum Store or on this website here — also if you run into the Balsa Man founder he’ll likely have some on him for purchase. Patches are 2.5″x3″ and have an iron on back.

These are a limited run and once I run out that’s it!