Artist recreates Rochester scenes in miniature on Instagram

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Some of the best parts of Rochester… just smaller. Local artist — who uses the pseudonym “Mathison Rust” — may have launched this project nearly a year ago, but these miniatures now seem like the perfect little escape during quarantine.

Rust is from the Greater Rochester area, but found a home in the city itself.

“I grew up in the rural areas, outskirts, and like most rural kids, you imagine moving off to New York City,” he said. “When I landed in Rochester, the things that I wanted in these other places are actually right here, in my backyard.”

He says his artistic career took off in 2013, when his husband was laid off. Both of them had experience in the arts, so they starting making together.

Soon after, they graduated to selling their festivals in town, and across the Western New York region.

“I was blown away at supportive people are in Rochester of local art,” he said. “it was viable. Its not just a fun little hobby. You can connect with people, and find a marketplace.”

“It was last year that I rolled out ‘Mathison Rust,'” he said. “I wanted to make things that were really hyper-local, in this case, 3D toy-scale renders of Rochester locales. Things that might not normally make the ‘Rochester postcard’ at the airport….

“Things that really resonated with me, that are maybe undervalued, off the beaten path,” he said. “Hotel Cadillac, why shouldn’t that be made into toy-scale render?

Without giving anyway any classified trade secrets, he did reveal what makes a miniature work. Because, after all, theres more to it than making something big and scaling it down.

View this post on Instagram

Hotel Cadillac

A post shared by Mathison Rust (@mathison_rust) on

“It’s really about emphasis,” he said. “You shrink things down, but you make things bigger. It’s all about exaggeration, finding the features that your eyes to go in making those larger.

“That’s what ultimately makes things real, when we think about things, imagine things, we imagine them to be bigger than they are,” he said. “When you create a render like this and have it to scale, it just looks way off.”

“Any time an artist picks up a new tool or art form, they bring things from their other disciplines, but it helps you focus on different things,” he said, “In this case, it’s thinking about scale, proportions… It was a different approach to think about buildings as something you would caricature.”

Rust say he has limited prints available at

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