COMMUNITY

Salem Art Department hosts tiny art show full of miniatures

Miniatures at the Salem Art Department’s Tiny Art Show. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

If you walk to the back of the Salem Art Department downtown, you’ll see a row of dollhouses.

And if you look closely, you’ll see a tiny, tiny can of soup.

It’s one of the pieces of art on display this month as part of the art store’s Tiny Art Show.There’s also a little felt octopus, painted lighter and little easels among the works.

Jessica Ramey said when she took over the store at 254 Commercial St. N.E. in 2020, she wanted to make the gallery more of a community space.

Gallery displays used to be in front of the store, 10 feet up. Now the shows are situated in the back of the store.

“We call it the concrete gallery with the idea of, ‘You have these ideas that you’re turning into concrete and sharing it with the world,’” Ramey explained.

As a kid, Ramey loved making miniature things and she got inspired seeing miniatures on Instagram recently.

She put a callout for artists and said they got 30 submissions from ages 7 and up, higher than what they typically see in their shows.

There are 74 pieces of art in the show, some of which are for sale. 

A tiny, felt octopus at the Salem Art Department’s Tiny Art Show. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Ramey said tiny art is accessible. It doesn’t take long to make, and you don’t need a ton of supplies.

To fully understand the art, she said, you have to lean in closer.

In front of the dollhouses, there are magnifying glasses for those who want a close look.

“Also, it’s more special when it’s small to me,” she said. “It’s at a different scale than we’re used to.”

She said the tiny art show is representative of what she’s trying to do with the store, make art more accessible.

“If you make art, it’s good enough to put in the show,” she said.

The show runs until Feb. 26. The store is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Miniatures at the Salem Art Department’s Tiny Art Show. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] 

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