This month, American Folk Art & Framing (AFA) presents small offerings from its talented artists. The annual Miniatures Show goes live on the website on Wednesday, February 7, and opens in the gallery on Friday, February 9. Both events are at 11 a.m. A reception that includes art, flowers and poetry—just in time for Valentine’s Day—will be held Friday evening from 5–8 p.m. The show runs through Wednesday, February 28.
“For the last 20 years, American Folk Art has dedicated every February to small works of art that have big stories to tell,” says AFA owner Julia Mills. “The perfect size to tuck into an established collection and the perfect price point to begin curating a new collection, these minute masterpieces prove the old saying: the best gifts really do come in small packages.”
Liz Sullivan took art classes in college, but did not begin painting seriously until 1989. Her first painting sold immediately and she was asked to create more of her artwork that draws upon the people and environment surrounding her in rural Western North Carolina.
Creating miniatures offers her a lesson in letting some things go. “Developing the idea and then honing it down into a smaller space is always challenging,” says Sullivan. “My ideas start out big and then I have to figure out how to create that idea in a very small space.”
The Miniatures Show will include her paintings of birds—always a choice subject. “My most favorite in this batch would probably be the lone chickadee standing on a branch of yellow leaves,” she says. “It’s simple, and the diagonal perspective, in my opinion, makes it a bit unique.” For each of her paintings, her daughter Amy Sullivan creates a wooden frame which Liz paints to match the mood of the piece.
Trés Taylor finds the creation of miniatures to be meditative. “It doesn’t require a lot of preparation like my larger work, so painting these is always fun and relaxing for me,” he says.
For the Miniatures Show, he will contribute work in two very different mediums. “One is the tarpaper medium and the other is a watercolor lithograph print that I made in Oaxaca, Mexico,” he says. “The prints were made as a gift to all of the guests at my daughter’s wedding. Each print is hand painted (watercolor), making each one unique.”
Taylor believes the appeal of small works lies in how they trigger the imagination. In considering miniatures, he likes a quote by Rumi: “Look at your eyes. They are small, but they see enormous things.”
Other artists contributing new work in various mediums to the Miniatures Show are Ellie Ali, Kent Ambler, Ivy Billiot, Carl Block, Cornbread, Wayne Hewell, Ellen Langford, Peter Loose, Lonnie and Twyla Money, Buddy Snipe and Tim Whitten.
American Folk Art & Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit AmeriFolk.com or call 828.281.2134.