By TERESA M. PIRKEY
They’re the same, but different.
Miniatures are tiny pieces of art, but they also have special qualities that make them unique.
And the artists at the Hanover Area Arts Guild love them!
The first Miniature Art Exhibit is under way at Art Downtown, 32 Carlisle St., Hanover. A total of 157 pieces of art — oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, collages, pencil drawings and pastels as well as 3-D sculptures and assemblages — were submitted for the exhibit by 33 artists.
“They are little gems,” said Sharon Benner, who organized the show for the Arts Guild. “People can collect these. … There’s sculpture, whimsical, lots of landscape. It’s animal art, floral, abstract.”
It’s also a different approach for the artist.
“A lot of times the miniature may evoke more emotions than a full-size painting,” explained Rebecca Yates Shorb, who entered pastel miniatures in the show. Miniatures “establish your color relationships,” she added.
“When I do a miniature in pastel, a lot of times I’ll eliminate extraneous things and only focus on the things that are necessary,” Shorb said. “It points to the dynamics of time and place.”
Miniatures, she continued are “most instantaneous … you’re reacting.”
Most of her paintings are done plein air or outside. When she can’t get outside because of the weather for a full-size painting, she relies a photograph or a miniature.
Mary Moores, who like Shorb works in pastels, said the miniature show is exciting.
“It’s another opportunity to explore more options,” she said. “You’re more free to try things.”
Artists can work in a series, try different techniques, focus on what’s important in a painting.
“You’re not stuck in making everything more perfect,” Moores said. “You’re not just filling up the surface.”
Jerry Gadd, whose primary medium is watercolor, said the miniatures are easier because they aren’t as detailed.
“I don’t look at all the details,” he explained. “I simplify it.”
Gadd uses the miniatures almost like sketches, something he may eventually work into a larger painting.
And he’s glad the miniatures are popular. He’s already targeting Westminster’s Art in the Park this June for more mini sales.
Not all Arts Guild members were exuberant about the miniature exhibit in Hanover.
Jim Mackey’s work — assemblages that usually are large and often heavy — can’t be easily miniaturized.
“I don’t like doing small,” he said.
But he found a nest — and so he entered the Arts Guild’s show this May.
“I like big and in your face,” Mackey said. “I like pieces that catch your eye from across the room and they’ll walk over and look at it.”
Carol Herren Foerster, whose contributions for the exhibit are in pencil, shares his sentiment.
“Normally, I do much larger drawings,” she said. “But I have really been enjoying it.”
It’s challenging, she continued. “I still like the bigger pieces. … The depth is my specialty, layering almost. It’s very hard to do with a smaller piece.”
The show continues through June 2.
It can be seen during regular gallery hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is always free.
Teresa M. Pirkey is manager of Art Downtown, the gallery of the Hanover Area Arts Guild. She can be reached at 717-632-2521 or email@example.com