This Obsessive Utah Artist Spent a Half-Century Building a Personal Shrine

By Torben Bernhard & Travis Low | December 6, 2016

After losing his grandmother, sister, father and daughter in the span of six months, Ralphael Plescia turned his grief into art. Nearly fifty years later, Plescia’s larger-than-life sculptures and drawings have become an obsession, filling every nook and cranny of his private museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. His project has one overriding vision: to tell the real story of Biblical creation by rendering characters and tales lost to history. Over the years, the giant works of art have become part of the building itself as Plescia hollows out underground tunnels and builds bridges to make space for more of his creations. Now reaching his twilight years, Plescia is coming face to face with the reality that when he dies, his legacy may die with him. “There’s a 98 percent chance that one day none of this will be here and I wasted my life,” he reflects. “We all have a choice of wasting our own life the way we want.”

Penny’s Ex-Husband Realized She’s a Woman. But They’re Still Best Friends.

When Dee came out as a transgender, it meant the end of her marriage to Penny. And that’s when the empowering journey for both women truly began.

The Nomadic People Caught in the Crosshairs of China’s Economic Boom

For thousands of years, herders have grazed their livestock on the vast Southern Mongolia grasslands. As Chinese investment turns this mineral-rich region into a cash cow, does the ancient culture have any hope of survival? A few families are willing to fight for it.

Meet The Banksy of Cardboard Curiosities

This LA artist is creating ephemeral works designed to dazzle – then disintegrate.

Activists Took Over This Abandoned Athens Hotel…and Gave it to Refugees

After months of subsisting in overcrowded camps, migrants turned an empty building in the Greek capital into a remarkable experiment in self-managed living.

What Do You Give a Country for Its 100th Birthday? How About an Entire Mountain?

Neighborly Norwegians hatched a plan for Finland’s 2017 centennial: gift them their country’s new highest peak. But is their quirky plan an insurmountable climb?

The Flexible, Magical Lighting Strip That Solves All Your Problems

The folks at Power Practical grew tired of MacGuyvering their way to ample illumination. So they built the Luminoodle.

This Tiny Box Can Keep 1 in 4 American Adults Out of Work

After their release from prison, these men and women were eager to find employment and get their lives back on track. But on job application after job application, one simple yet sweeping question stood in their way.

Welcome to the ‘American Idol’ of Hair Styling

In this choose-your-own-adventure documentary film series, help hair stylist Sina Washington transform her North Philly salon into a runway as she and her friends prepare for their dream competition, Hair Idol.