What is it about tiny things that are so compelling?
We all seem to scrunch up our faces, emit an "awww," followed by a "that's so cute!" at the mere site of something that's simply smaller than usual.
Mo Douglas, executive director of Arts Whistler, has a theory.
"I think it all comes from baby animals—and baby humans," she says. "There's something about tiny things we love. I don't know if it's because it's such a departure from what we normally relate to."
To that end, Arts Whistler is bringing back its Teeny Tiny Art Show for a third year, starting with a kick-off party on Sept. 12 at The Gallery at the Maury Young Arts Centre.
This time around, a callout attracted a whopping 90 artists, who turned in pieces on three-inch-by-three-inch (7.6-centimetre-by-7.6-cm) canvasses.
"It's really clever," Douglas says. "Some beautiful stuff, some funny stuff, original art that's really affordable. That's what's fun."
In past years, artists have submitted crocheted pieces ("someone had crocheted the world's tiniest sofa"), detailed landscapes and other 3D pieces.
"It either tends to be skill or cleverness at that size—sometimes both," Douglas says. "So many people do cool things with this that it's a really fun one to look at. The scope of ideas is jaw dropping."
The tiny theme doesn't end there, though. At the opening party—which is free and runs from 7 to 10 p.m.—you will also find tiny food and beverages as well as a "do-it-yourself, mini-masterpiece creation station" where you can try your hand at making your own tiny art.
"We got a hold of a number of extra three-by-three [canvases] and we'll have a little painting station if people want to do their own teeny tiny masterpieces. We'll have a public participation frame. All the do-it-yourself masterpieces will be able to live there," Douglas says.
All the art will also be up for grabs—at a reasonable rate. "I've seen work priced from $15 to crazy, ornate creations at $75," she adds. "It's really affordable."
The show is just the first event in Arts Whistler's Fall for Arts season—well, technically, the second, if you count the actual Fall For Arts kick-off party that starts just before the exhibit opening in front of the Maury Young Arts Centre at 6 p.m.
That party will include live music, button-making, artists painting on site and roving entertainers. "This year, we've aligned the launch party and the Teeny Tiny show," Douglas says. "Some Assembly Required is performing from 6 to 7 p.m. by the piano, Dave Petko and Taka Sudo will be live mural painting, and Paintertainment will have lots of photo ops and fun. There will also be button making for adults and kids. It's funny how our button-making machine is a crowd favourite."
This is the fourth year of the Fall for Arts season and it's picked up plenty of traction, Douglas says.
"On its heels is the first Arts Whistler Live show with T Riley and the Bourbon Rebels starting it off with swing, jazz, and blues," she says. "They come with a swing dance coach, so you can come at 7 and learn some of the steps. These guys are hot. They've got a great video, and a super fun look. It's a good high-energy start to the season."
For more information on any of the events, visit artswhistler.com/fallforarts.