Featured Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo

Artist Bobbi Mastrangelo has produced an amazing portfolio based on the theme of sewers and drains. Visit her website to see more.


Bobbi Mastrangelo and NYC Grate

Bobbi Mastrangelo with NYC Grate 28” x 24″ x 5.5”


For over three decades I have created art in many media based on the theme of manhole covers, water covers, grates and drains. My sculpture relief works look extremely heavy.  People wonder how I can manage to hang them on the wall. Actually this NYC Grate is constructed with thin plywood, foam and pebbles.

This fall my art will be featured during one of the new weekly series called “Artisodes” on WUCF TV on Thursdays at 8:00 PM.  Each episode features a local artist as well as art stories from across the country in partnership with 28 PBS Stations. “My Grate Works of Art” will be shown in Central Florida on November 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM. It will be available on You Tube afterwards.


Three Sewer Hitter

“Three Sewer Hitter”  sculpture relief 34” x 30” x 4”


There is so much history related to manhole covers.  This piece plays tribute to the street game of stickball. The Stickball bat was a broomstick handle and the ball was a pink Spauldine. Chalk shadows of the pink ball and broom handle appear above the 3rd sewer. Manhole covers are about 90’ apart, so a hit as far as three sewers was a definite home run.



“When”  linocut on handmade paper, 10″ x 8″


“Everybody asks: When?”

This art was created for environmental awareness.

CLEAN (Committee for Litter Elimination And Neatness) was a grass roots organization that we founded in St. James, NY.  Its members adopted areas to beautify and keep litter free.


The Street Was Paved in Gold

“The Street Was Paved in Gold” fiber art 18” x 16” x 1.5”


Water may be more valuable than gold.  We can’t live without it.

The REUSE valve cover stands for reclaimed water, to be used for landscape irrigation.  The pavers are composed of hand made paper molded over foam core.  The bamboo was colored by rubbing shoe polish and gold pigment on it.

An International Sanitation Firm in Switzerland asked to use my REUSE symbol on their contact page.



“Reuse” miniature sculpture 6” x 6.5″ square including the cover and rotating base


The official reuse color is a purple-magenta, which denotes reclaimed water. The best part about this tiny creation is that it is inexpensive to ship to art exhibitions. But for some reason, these miniatures take as much of my time as the large wall relief works:

First there is research for each themed piece.

Second the design has to fit inside the base frame and allow the cover to come down over it.

Third, the back, which faces the mirror has to be carefully planned for its mirror image reflection.


Buckeye Water Meter Cover

“Buckeye Water Meter Cover” sculpture relief, 22″ x 31” x 3”


This construction is mostly foam reinforced with plaster bandage before the layers of cement and paint were added. The biggest challenge was the creation of the Belgium Blocks. Most of my relief forms go through several painting stages ending with an antique or “road age” finish.

Finally bits of moss, and pebbles settle into the cracks. Look for the lost coin or little ring peeking out of a crevice.


Glendora Water

“Glendora Water” sculpture relief 18” x 14” x 1 3/4”


This is a simulated standard water valve cover from a sidewalk setting near my home. The materials used are plaster gauze over foam brushed with cement. All of my relief works have narrow wooden frames on the back, much like a canvas-back.


City of Orlando

“City of Orlando” sculpture relief 48” x 31” x 3”


“City of Orlando” is a simulation of a storm cover and antique brick paving in Loch Haven Park situated between The Orlando Museum of Art and The Orlando Science Center.

I had some help with the planning of this piece.

Susan Raff did a rubbing of the cover for me and afterwards deemed herself “A Grate Works Apprentice.” Another Colleague sent me photos of the bricks, which I had noticed on Museum trips, but never documented. My Husband, Al who had taught Mechanical and Architectural Drawing early in his Education Career, helped me to sketch out the directional arrow for the roadway.

Here are the story and pictures of its creation.

Being a manhole artist is a grate adventure in learning, creating and sharing. There is so much to learn and appreciate about our Public Works Systems. Trying to artistically simulate these urban street scapes is a challenge. I am grateful to all my “Grate Works Apprentices” who have sent rubbings, photos, special sand, pebbles and manhole mementos to keep me motivated.


Bobbi Mastrangelo invites you to follow her on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.



  1. This is so amazing! Something considered ugly or dirty that we all see every day turned into something beautiful – LOVE IT!!!

  2. An inspiring idea beautifully designed!

  3. Claire Young says

    So proud of you Sis! Congratulations! Great article, loved your comments and always love seeing your artwork!

  4. Marilyn Abt says

    This is a beautiful representation of the work that Bobbi creates. She is an inspiring artist who uses the ordinary as her subject!!

  5. I’ve watched Bobbi develop as an artist throughout her career. It has been a joy to watch a beautiful person grow to produce beautiful art!

  6. Phyllis Krilovich says

    Hi Bobbi, so great to see your work and how you have not faultered from your path. I remember being on my hands and knees in Florence taking a rubbing of a water maine for you. I appreciate all your endeavours and how far you’ve come since leaving N.Y.

  7. Roseline (Rosie) Collins says

    Your goals have put it all in proper perspective and your new ideas for now, and in the future, provoke much continued interest.

    Artsy Shark’s selection for their website is excellent choice from your collection; onlookers will surely be fascinated by your works for originality and artistic quality.

    You do indeed produce such intriguing, quality art.

  8. Bobbi’s art work is the greatest. Thank you for featuring Bobbi.


  1. […] great example of presentation can be found by looking at artist Bobbi Mastrangelo.  Although Bobbi uses several different mediums, she has a strong sense of direction and has found […]

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