Over the next month, Masters and her team of artists and builders, some of them neighbors from the community, constructed the giant burger to the amused bewilderment of onlookers. "I remember this one woman," Masters recalls, "She was kind of gruff, and she walked by and she asked, 'What is that? What are you making?' And I said, 'I'm making a sandwich.' Simple. And then she said, 'You're making a sandwich?' And then she put her head back and she just started laughing." Outside of the white cube of traditional museum spaces, Masters' sculpture was free of artifice. Approachable. "I was just there, building. And because I was outside from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every single day, they saw me and I became a neighbor, essentially. I think it's important when you create works like that to become part of the neighborhood, because that's their home. I couldn't imagine not wanting to meet them. It was more about people coming up and sitting with me and sharing their stories."
"Northside Road Side" was completed on August 26th, 2016, and stands today in Pittsburgh. Masters allowed the community to rename it as many times as they pleased, with nicknames such as "The World's Largest Hamburger," "The Giant Cheeseburger," and "Sammich." There are no ticket-takers or record of who comes to visit. No gift shop. Its legacy is captured in pictures on people's phones and barber shop chats between neighbors. "Have you stuck your head through it yet?" If you pose just right, by sticking your head inside one of the structure's four portholes, it looks as if you're being eaten by this creation. People become a part of it. At the center of America's fascination with roadside attractions, is the desire to become one with the exhibit, the experience. To become art. Mimicking the tiny arms of the 100-ton T-Rex in Cabazon, CA with their friends, or hugging their great-grandfather inside "Big Brutus," the world's second-largest steam shovel near West Mineral, KS. "I went all the time," says Masters. "Generations of photos of our family have been to Big Brutus. We still go. I mean, every time I go home, I still go. It's a big part of our family."