TREVOR "The Games Man"

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   TREVOR's Museum of Real Art 

   Gallery 4:  

  "Magnetic Attractions"

featuring Refrigerator Magnet Art




I have a huge collection: most of a fridgeful (and not just the front), most of two tall filing cabinet sides full, as well as a couple of boxfuls that I cleared off our old fridge when we got our new fridge a ways back and then never put them back on the new fridge.

I have a special fondness for refrigerator letters. For more than 40 years now, I've been playing with magnetic fridge letters. In fact, it say in Rule #12 of our written House Rules that are posted on the fridge: "Anyone may change the fridge letters at any time as long as it always says something and it's not rude."

Right now, there's a sectioned basket full of letters sorted alphabetically on the kitchen counter beside the fridge for easy access. For a long time, all the letters were on the lower half of the fridge until a 2-year-old moved in and in a single arm movement swept nearly all of them off onto the floor every time he went into the kitchen. After a few days of constantly picking up magnets, they moved to a basket on the counter!

When my friend Robby Roiter lived here for an entire decade, we would spend lots of time anagramming whatever letters were there. (For those of you who don't know, an anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, "cinema" is an anagram of "iceman": they both have the exact same letters but in a different order.) Robby and I would also regularly stand there and tag-team anagram for 5-30 minutes just for the FUN of it! In fact, shortly after my lovely wife and I got married, she came home from work pretty tired one day one day and wrote, "I'M A SLEEPY MUFFIN" on the fridge with letter magnets, and Robby and I spent the next several years anagramming that one!  It was fabulous!

Beside letters, I also have a wide variety of shapes, animals, commercial magnets, magnetic picture holders, etc... even hieroglyphic magnets that my best buddy Don gave me! Early in my career, I had some business magnets made that I'm still getting business from. (Note to self: get more of those!)

Over the years, we've had quite a bit of FUN on our fridge. Here's just a very, very small sample for your enjoyment:

by Trevor

This is my all-time favorite piece of my personal fridge art. I had sorted all my fridge letters by color one day and noticed that the orange ones actually looked like an orange. So that set me an a mission to make the other colors into other edibles, too. (And for all you perfectionists out there, I know an egg is technically not really produce, but chickens produce them so....) I'm not that good of a photographer, so the glare of the flash on the fridge kind of swallowed the "E" of the word "ORANGE", but you can see it there if you really try.

Our 8-year-old housemate Rowan, systematically went through our Music Room while they lived here and tried out every single instrument. He spent a lot of time on the ones he liked, and picked up and set down the ones he didn't really care for. He spent a LOT of time on the piano and actually wrote some really great music. But the first time he opened up my trombone, his eyes really lit up! I made this little sketch for him the next day in his honor.

"Magnet Man"
   by Trevor

I don't remember anything about the circumstances around this piece. I only know I liked it enough to take a picture of it.
"Bugle Player"
by Ken
At a family gathering at our house 9/15/12, in the middle of a long anagramming session, my nephew Ken created this fine bugle player tooting up some jubilation.
   The next several pieces are what I think of as "Word Art"... they're both words and art:

by Trevor

Something great happened (I don't remember what), and I got all enthusiastic on the fridge! Once again, the flash glare nearly swallowed a letter, but the seventh word down is "YAY" (not "YA"); the final "Y" is white, and now that I've pointed that out you can see it easily, right?
A few notes on other words:
"Wunberbar" is German for "wonderful".
"Finestkind" is a quote from MASH, one of my favorite films. It's Hawkeye who says it.
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is from The Sound of Music.
And my Uncle George, the linguist, invented "Fantasmabeauscrumalishabsolugloriosplendiful". What a great word!

 "Good-bye Nelson"
by Trevor

Nelson VanVranken was one of my favorite housemates. What a wonderful man! He actually met his wife here at our house in the late '90s. Nelson had given me his 1-month notice because he had decided to do some sort of three month internship somewhere far away, but the day he gave me notice was the same day that Amy and her very young son Brennan moved in.
Within two weeks they were a couple.
And when Nelson left for his internship, I left him this good-bye note on the fridge.
But there's a very happy ending. Six weeks later, he cut his internship short and moved back into our house, but this time into Amy's room. They are now into several decades of marriage and have several children, the first of whom may very well have been conceived right here in our house. Their Best Man at their wedding was another housemate, Paul, with whom they're still very good friends.
It's true stories like this that make me feel really good about having housemates.


The next three pieces are by my son Jason sometime between ages 8-12. He set himself a goal of using all the letters to write a cohesive paragraph. You'll notice he had to get a bit creative here and there: using an upside down "Q" for a "O",  an upside down "J" becomes a "T" or an "I", a backwards "C" changes into an "O", a lying down "P" is also an "O", a "v" and an "r" together make a "Y", a sideways "m" becomes an "E", and other delightful interpretations.  
You may also notice that each one is longer than the one above it. That's because I got more letters, so the challenge became bigger!

"Roxy 1"
by Jason
"Roxy 2"
by Jason

"I Like Max."
by Jason
"Bi-Partisan Whitney Grooves on Any Little Mice"
 by Matthew Liston
July 28, 2015
This was the final bit of a long string of continually morphing fridge images around the themes of "bias", "cats", and "numbers of mice". It was a fitting end.

"Long String Magnet Art"
by Amelia Brooks
(age 2-1/2)
February 2017
My granddaughter spent a good 20 minutes creating this piece on the side of our fridge. I think there were maybe 3 or 4 of those string magnets there when she started working on this piece, the rest were all on the front of the fridge in a variety of other pieces of art. They had all been there on the side in the first place, so she was putting them back where she knew they belonged, but she didn't just slap them all on the side there to put them away. No. She took them from the front of the fridge one-by-one, lined each one up with the others, carefully smoothing it into position with her fingers until it was just the way she wanted it to be, taking a good 30-90 seconds on each one, and then reached around the front for the next one.
[Photographer's Note: Sorry for the not-so-great photo but it's all I've got. It was in a really tight spot with a bright sunny window shining on the upper part of it. I took at least 10 different pictures of it but bungled all but three of them on the download. This is the only one that looked even half good... and you don't even get to see the entire piece of art. Oh well. My bad.]

 by Trevor
"Silly Guy with a Hat On"
by Chloe Synder
by Trevor

 "Fairy with Wings"
by Charlotte Brooks
(age 5)

 "Christmas Monster"
by Reilley W.
At our family Christmas party, my grandnephew Reilley really liked the string magnets and made this cool Christmas monster on our fridge.

"String Magnet Design"
 by Trevor
First, I lined up all the string magnets horizontally. They stayed that way for a couple of days, then on a whim, I squished them all together in the middle. I like the way it looks. It stayed that way on the fridge for over a month. Then someone did this to it:


 "Uncle Knuckley"
Jesse Doane
Uncle Knuckley has been on our fridge for nearly a year now* so I don't know exactly when Jesse created him, but Uncle Knuckley has lasted longer that nearly everything else that could be changed, so I guess Uncle Knuckley definitely has staying power.
*It's still there in January of 2023!
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