#Indianapolis – Art is presented in a variety of different shapes, styles and mediums. Depending on the gallery, the pieces which inhabit the exhibit can be anything from large sculptures to small portraits.
The Arts Council of Indianapolis‘ TINY III is an annual holiday show which places an emphasis on “tiny” art. It’s an event which brings local artists together and gives them a space to display tiny art in whatever medium they desire.
While artists have the freedom to create in which ever medium they choose, there’s one standard that unifies every piece in the show – each piece of art cannot exceed 6″x 6″x 6″.
Hence, tiny art.
Amassing 90 local artists to participate in TINY III, this year’s show will host over 300 pieces of original tiny art in the Arts Councils’ Gallery 924. Being a holiday show, the organization aims to provide people with the means to purchase original art from local artists which can serve as unique holiday gifts.
The show, which premieres today as a part of IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour, allows people to walk into the Arts Council’s gallery space and purchase art on the spot. Being an arts patron can be expensive, but TINY III aspires to make art affordable for everyone.
Pieces at TINY III range from a price of $10 to $300, with an average price of artwork being $100.
“TINY is an opportunity for people to buy original artwork for holiday gifts, it’s much more personal and unique than something from a big box chain store,” Shannon Linker, vice president of the Arts Council of Indianapolis said. “Almost anyone who walks in the door can actually start their own art collection.”
TINY is Linker’s brainchild. It was conceived as a way to fill the Arts Councils’ gallery space with an abundance of art while providing an opportunity for artists to get to know the organization and other artists.
The show can also expose artists to a larger audience who may purchase their work.
Shawn Causey has been a working artist in Indianapolis for seven years, but this is the first year she’ll be participating in TINY. An artist who recently has worked on more large scale art, Causey decided to participate because she “actually had something ‘tiny'” to enter.
Last year Causey created a steel mural called “Bright City” which can be found in Downtown Indianapolis. The left over epoxy acrylic from that project was placed in buckets. Causey decided to make tiny art with the dried epoxy acrylic by means cutting them into 12 cake slices.
She calls her layered cake work “Bright City Slices.”
“What’s great about ‘Bright City Slices’ is that someone can own a piece of that project,” Causey said. “I love the idea that it’s the TINY show and [‘Bright City Slices’] is from the largest project that I’ve done.”
TINY III, the third incarnation of the show, and accomplishes various goals the Arts Council work towards. One goal in particular is to put on a show which encompasses work from artists who might not normally get a solo show at the organizations gallery space.
“TINY is very useful for artists,” Causey said. “The Arts Council gets to see who you are and being a part of the show, you get to meet other artists and be a part of the gallery … it’s a very good step if you’re looking to put work in front of people.”
For artist William Denton Ray, TINY is a way to test new art on an audience and get feedback on a potential new series of work he’s considering creating. Ray, a multi-media artist, primarily works with small art, a factor which has also lead him to participate in the show since its inception.
Ray has been working on a new series of wall sculptures for this year’s TINY which is called “Block Head.” Each 3D block head is a character portrait which is made out of 2x4s and scrapwood.
The “Block Head” series will debut at TINY III.
“I’ve been selling art for a little while and I’ve noticed that there’s not always the $1,000, $5,000 buyers,” Ray said. “So when working on something new I like to start small and test the water with it … to see if people enjoy it.”
“The Arts Council is also a great resource for artists, so I like to participate in their group events,” Ray said.
Gautam Rao is another veteran of TINY, participating all three years, one of his favorite aspects of the show is seeing how people interact with his art.
Creating interactive pieces of art for this year’s show, Rao has developed a “selfie” stamp which creates stamp portraits and a piece of art which allows a person to feed Ganesha – a Hindu elephant god.
“Some of the most popular work at TINY take advantage of the small format,” Rao said. “Even though I’m an artist participating in the event I find myself roaming TINY looking for things to buy. The show has a very fun atmosphere to it because you never know what you might find because there’s so much art.”
For people interested in buying local art, adding to their art collection, or just interested in visiting an art gallery, TINY serves as an accessible way to get involved with the local arts community.
“You don’t have to go to the mall and stand in line for Black Friday and buy something mass produced, it’s so much better to buy something locally made,” Rao said. “Local art is made with love and care, and gives something unique and extraordinary to a person.”
“The local arts community is very welcoming, and attending things like TINY, even if you don’t buy anything, is supporting your local community,” Rao said. “There’s a lot of special things here in Indianapolis, we have a very visual arts community here, and the great thing about TINY is it’s kind of a survey of the art being created in Indianapolis.”
TINY premieres tonight from 6 to 10 p.m. and will continue at Gallery 924 until Jan. 9, 2015.
Artwork that’s purchased at TINY III as a holiday gift will be available for pick up at the Arts Council of Indianapolis on Dec. 18, 19, or 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..
For more information about TINY III and the Arts Council of Indianapolis click here.
The Arts Council of Indianapolis is an organization which aims to be a resource to support local artists and arts organizations, it also aspires to help artists make a living through their craft.