Small Is Beautiful: Enfield’s Tiny Art Show
Let’s say you were given a tiny (3 x 3 inch) canvas and were told you could make some art. What would you do?
The Enfield Public Library has distributed approximately 120 canvases and is hosting a Tiny Art Show. An open house exhibition with refreshments is scheduled for February 7 from 9:00 am to 7 pm.
Librarian Nancy Fontaine credits Director Kate Minshall for the idea, saying “. . . this is the first time we've done it. Kate's goal is to create community. . . Library staff distributed the canvases at the library when people let us know they wanted one (or more, in a couple of cases.) . . . There are virtually no rules. The only one is that you incorporate the canvas into what you create.”
If the blank square were yours, you might do as these community artists have done: returned the canvas with a painted representation of a car, a chicken, some jellyfish. Mountain scapes or a single tree. An abstract design. Or maybe you wouldn’t paint at all; you’d knit, or (Christo-influenced perhaps?) you’d wrap the thing and create a fabric collage with a 3D accent.
Or maybe your canvas would morph into a mixed-media sculpture. Cheers for “coloring” outside the lines.
The project is popular. Just after the Enfield library posted it on its Facebook page, the Silsby Free Public Library in Charlestown NH promptly asked if they could steal the idea. Answer: yes.
(All photos by permission and courtesy of artists and Enfield Public Library.)
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.