The Art of Clowning
  • This mural depicts what clowns do to entertain and bring smiles, love, and laughter
  • There are three types of clowns,  Auguste, White Face, and Tramp/Hobo
  • Many clowns make their own costumes, and must design their own faces

Smiles, love and laughter is the wonderful medicine dispensed by the clowns of Toby’s Clown Alley.  Ever since 1982, when Florida Hospital Lake Placid expanded from a clinic to a full fledged hospital, Keith “Toby the Clown” Stokes’ brand of Clown Medicine has been a vital part of the compassionate patient care. 

            The student clowns must decide which of the three types of clowns they will become, Auguste, White Face, or Tramp/Hobo.  Each student receives individualized attention in selecting his or her one-of-a-kind outfit.  Many clowns make their own unique costumes.  Each clown learns to apply make-up to bring out his or her individual clown personality.  They learn to take the utmost care when applying their make-up.  Each of Toby’s Clowns must look very professional.  This is just the beginning of their training.  They also learn magic acts, balloon sculpturing, puppetry, and skits.  They learn that sensitivity to those they interact with must be of paramount importance.  They must always be aware of the feelings of others. 

            So, what does a bunch of clowns do at graduation?  They all appear in several clown skits.  Some of the skits are simple, some very intricate, but always hilarious.  Family and friends attend the graduation to enjoy an evening of good wholesome fun.

            After graduation, the new clowns are ready to clown in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, and children’s parties.  As depicted in this mural, there are so many ways to entertain.  You will find clowns marching in parades, reading to children in our libraries, painting children’s faces, giving out balloons, and visiting the pediatric wards. During the months of January, February, March, and April, you often find five or more clowns walking the streets of Lake Placid to greet the visitors to our murals.  This gives a feeling of welcome, and we are so glad that you are here.

            The members of Toby’s Clown Alley, just like their founder, “Toby” Keith Stokes, are wonderful, caring people, who spend so much of their time bringing smiles, love and laughter wherever they go. 

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio
Monica Turner  Toby’s Clown Museum North Wall, Interlake Blvd
(around Circle)
30  ft wide x 9 ft high Florida Hospital Lake Placid Find the six smiley faces & Lady Bug
Completed May 2010

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