Tiny treasures abound at The Art Exchange

One of the common misconceptions about art is the bigger it is the better. Well, folks, as the song goes, it ain’t necessarily so.

While large works of art do offer grandeur, small works, especially miniatures, possess undeniable charm. In fact, miniatures have been popular and prized by collectors for hundreds of years. Today, there is even a museum devoted to these tiny treasures in, of all places, Dallas, Texas.

In February, The Art Exchange is holding its annual miniature show featuring works 3-by-4 or 3-by-4-by-3 inches. This exhibit is a feast for art lovers. The first thing you see when entering the gallery is two rows of art circling the walls like a double-strand necklace of little gems. All 90-plus miniatures have the same frame, giving the display uniformity – a bonus, since every medium and style imaginable is there.

Three works will give you a taste of the artistic variety available in the show.

Kelly Wallace’s drawing Scratch No. 1 maintains the rigorous detail and high-realism of the larger creations for which he is well known. In this piece, Wallace used graphite, silver, and gesso on paper and vertical strokes to transform the earth’s decaying detritus into art that soars.

Sarah Cowling’s Landscape With Two Moons is a mixed-media painting that at first seems strictly abstract, but it is actually rooted in the natural world. Cowling’s use of rich colour and strong contrast make this piece dynamic, while the two moons create an intriguing conceptual puzzle.

Then there is Nicole Campbell’s work. Her whimsical creations show a mastery of technique and vivid imagination with a tale to tell. In Olivia couldn’t recall where she had last seen her Owl, she uses expressive linear elements and delicate watercolour to create a delightful fantasy.

Besides the aesthetic appeal of miniatures, their size makes them affordable. Prices in the show range from $100 to $375. It is an excellent way for novice art lovers to buy their first piece of art, or for experienced ones to expand their collections.

New online art gallery unveiled

The Miniature Show’s opening night will also feature the launch of a new online art gallery at -->http://www.londonartists.ca/ -->.

Artist Ray Jackson and owner/administrators Jacob and Barham Dababneh hope the website will help the public to appreciate the talent available in London and artists to forge new relationships.

Details about the website

  • Members must be London-based practising visual artists who will update their website at least yearly
  • New and experienced artists are encouraged to join
  • Use of the website is free
  • Each member receives space in the form of a mini-website within londonartists.ca
  • Members can easily upload their bio, images, and contact info
  • Art will not be sold through this website
  • Links to other websites for making sales can be included
  • Artists will soon be able to advertise their shows on a banner without charge


What: Sixth Annual Juried Miniature Show and Sale
Where: The Art Exchange, 247 Wortley Road
When: Jan. 31 to Feb. 19; Opening reception Feb. 4 at 7:30 pm
Contact: www.theartexchange.ca

Susan Scott is a London-based arts writer and visual artist. In an effort at full disclosure, she has two drawings in The Miniature Show.

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The Arts Project - Studio