By Published: Oct. 29, 2018

sandal art

Lost and Found

Twenty years ago, Tom Blumenthal was surprised by the number of flip-flops washing up at the bottom of the steps leading from his yard to Boulder Creek. He started collecting them.

“I had the idea of the ‘art’ installation vaguely in mind after the first season,” said the recently retired CU Boulder professor, a former chair of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. 

 Before long, Blumenthal and his wife, Betsy, an artist, had boxes and boxes of lost footwear.

This summer, they strung together 231 flip-flops to catch the eyes of oncoming tubers floating past from nearby Eben G. Fine Park, west of 6th Street.

With no plans for further art installations, they discarded the rest.

“Non-scientist friends who have known me for a long time seem pleased that they can finally understand something I’ve done,” joked Blumenthal, who has published more than 100 articles on RNA and chromosomes. “My scientist colleagues are just amazed and bemused.”

Also Adrift:

  1. A paddle
  2. Hats  
  3. T-shirts
  4. Bottles
  5. A watermelon