American Folk Art & Framing (AFA) holds its 17th Annual Miniatures Show opening Thursday, February 4, and continuing through Tuesday, February 16, with online sales beginning on the website on Tuesday, February 2. “Folk and self-taught artists are masters of finding their own ways of creating and communicating,” says gallery owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. “Small works often lead to breakthroughs that we will see in following iterations. Or, a true one-off gem is born and, during the show, we are witness to a truly unique piece of art.”
Featured artists include Ellen Langford and AFA’s newest artist, Joe Engel. Artists, Weiss says, remain mindful of the Miniatures Show throughout the year. “If a scrap of wood, a bit of paper or a scoop of clay remains, it can spark an idea and find its way to this event,” she says. “Especially this past year when budgets shrank but time for experimentation was available, those leftovers became invaluable.”
Langford, Weiss says, is able to “create vastness” on canvases as small as four-and-one-half inches square. “It’s possible to feel the movement of air, the wide openness of the landscapes she creates,” she says. “Magic.” Langford’s works often depict relationships between the land and its inhabitants.
Langford says she enjoys the challenge each year of creating tiny paintings that are often as time-consuming as those that fill larger canvases. “Painting miniatures definitely poses some special challenges,” she says, “such as that of using tiny brushes, which gets a little more difficult each year and now requires my reading glasses. Also, getting enough visual information into such a small space without the finished painting feeling too busy is certainly harder than with a larger surface.” The small works exhibit a “jewel-like quality” when completed, she adds.
Engel lives and creates in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His subjects include silos, spirit animals and views of home, and he uses found materials, acrylic paint and ink to create works that straddle the line between raw and refined.
“The surprises are so much a part of the joy of the Miniatures Shows over the years,” says Weiss. “We anticipate this freshness to be revealed with the 2021 show.”
American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., every day of the week. For more information, visit AmeriFolk.com or call 828.281.2134.