Enormous Tiny Art makes the most of Nahcotta’s space
The 17th bi-annual Enormous Tiny Art show opens at Nahcotta on Friday, Feb. 6, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., in conjunction with Portsmouth’s monthly Art ’Round Town event. Since each piece is only 10 by 10 inches or smaller, hundreds of original artworks fit in the gallery, covering every wall. More than 40 artists are represented, some new to the show and many returning, from both near and far. What follows is a preview from some of those artists.
1. Dover artist Jeremy Miranda has participated in several Enormous Tiny Art shows, but has recently shifted the focus of his work.
His new paintings have less to do with the play of memory, and more to do with the different kinds of relationships humans have with nature. The six examples in the show explore the irony of having deep reverence for nature, while keeping a comfortable distance.
2. This recent work is a bit of a departure for Manchester artist Cindy Rizza.
“I’ve had a lot of life changes in the past couple years and my artwork is catching up to where I am now,” she said.
She treats small works like studies, and a chance to explore and experiment without too much commitment. These new paintings emanate the same nostalgic feeling as her clothesline and lawn chair series, but she said the symbolism is more direct and personal.
3. Kim Ferreira, of Three Graces Creative, continues to paint repeating patterns as backgrounds, but the jackalope is a new addition.
“I’ve been obsessed with William Morris for awhile, but now that I’ve learned from the master, I’m starting to create my own patterns,” she said.
The Portsmouth artist admits to only recently learning that jackalopes are a mythical animal of folklore, but they are nonetheless a perfect fit for her paintings, which are usually inspired by fables.
4. Amy Brnger, from Portsmouth, makes images reflecting the natural world, especially gardens, landscapes and flowers. She often combines still life and landscapes, since the objects she likes to paint are derived from the outdoors.
“All images are painted rapidly, in an effort to capture the changing nature of organic forms,” she says in her artist statement.
5. Cait Giunta and Ned Roche are co-owners of Chases Garage Artist Studios & Gallery in York.
Giunta creates planets as a reminder to disconnect from the overwhelming details and see the bigger picture. “A prompt to be mindful, the planets simplify a multitude of daunting, seemingly chaotic things into a more manageable, smooth edged and suspended idea,” she said.
These sculptures are made from reduction fired stoneware or porcelain, sometimes painted with gold leaf and paired with antique or found objects, and sometimes suspended from copper wire or rope.
6. Salem artist Mark Hoffmann draws inspiration from American culture, in both subject and style. “I have a deep love for folk art and it influences elements within my work, from the painting method to the intentionally crude perspective,” he said.
This work is part of a series of 18, based on great American authors circa 1800-1950. Each person was painted in a portrait format and accompanied by some symbol of their character or writing.
“I was a bit surprised how similar they were in their style and expressions in the reference photos. How many drab suits can one person paint?” He said. “I tried to use creative coloring and design choices to give each image a bit of charm.”
7. As with most of her work, the paintings that Diana Sudyka created for the show are heavily informed and inspired by natural history and folk art.
“Overall, I am interested in the intersection of the scientific study of nature, how we try to maintain or have lost a connection to the natural world, and as a result try to express a more intuitive relationship to nature in my work,” she said.
She’s an illustrator from Chicago who has worked with popular musicians and on award-winning children’s books.
8. This year, Wendy Whatley is not showing any paintings, but some new ceramics instead.
“I enjoy the lack of color, and focus on form and texture, which is a complete departure from painting,” she said. “And I love that layers and angles are revealed as you hold a piece and look around at all of the sides. That element of discovery is very interesting to me.”
She is drawn to detail and all things tiny, so this show is particularly suited to her. She lives in southern California.
The exhibit is on view through March 1 at Nahcotta, 110 Congress St., Portsmouth, 603-433-1705. Enormous Tiny Art is online at enormoustinyart.com.