MINT HILL – Members of Mint Hill Arts are embracing pint-sized creations in an effort to offer community members gift-giving options for the holiday season.
The nonprofit’s annual Small Treasures exhibit debuts next week at the Mint Hill Arts gallery and offers a variety of artwork – including 2-D and 3-D pieces – of a smaller size. Organizers will set up the exhibit this weekend, and the public can view the show beginning Tuesday, Nov. 5, during the gallery’s normal operating hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
The Small Treasures exhibit was launched about five years ago and is held annually in November. The show is limited to Mint Hill Arts members, who can enter up to six small pieces of artwork, such as 11-inch-by-14-inch paintings, jewelry and smaller sculptures. The smaller pieces allow patrons to purchase “reasonably-priced” art to give away during the holidays, according to Romie Mizell, the organization’s co-president.
“We hope that we will be offering a variety of different things to be used as Christmas presents,” Mizell said.
One of the things Mizell loves about the annual show is it gives those who visit the gallery a chance to see not only a variety of artists’ work, but a variation within each individual artist’s creations.
“We have a broad range of artists,” he said. “(The artists) can bring in a lot more (work) than they usually can because we’re making it smaller, and they can show off a lot more of their work.”
Mint Hill Arts member Barbara Travell says the pieces she creates for the Small Treasures exhibit are considerably different than the work she normally does, due in part to the method of creation. Travell usually does large paintings that are “sort of dreamy,” with a whimsical element, while her fewer, smaller pieces reflect a different side of her.
“For me, it’s a different approach,” Travell said, explaining when she does a large painting she typically uses an easel and does larger strokes for a “bigger experience. When I’m painting little things, I’m hunched over on a table, really tuned into it. It’s a different kind of mood; it’s more cute and fun, as if I was painting for a child. I kind of feel inspired.”
Travell is currently finishing up several pieces for the show, including a painting of a fox riding a bicycle and a clockwork assembladge. But rather than start a painting with an exact blueprint in mind, Travell focuses on an idea and lets the painting evolve as she works on it.
“I love to start new paintings; it’s just always exciting to see what it’s going to be,” she said. “I think if I had an exact idea, I would be disappointed. It would be a very frustrating experience rather than an enjoyable experience.”
Travell and Mizell both said they’re most excited about getting to see the different artists’ work and show off Mint Hill Arts to the community.
“It’s an opportunity to get to know the variety of artists that are in our group,” Mizell said. “We hope the show will attract people from all over the area.”
“I can’t wait to see what the other artists are putting in; I’m hoping to buy a few pieces myself,” she said.
Mint Hill Arts will host an opening reception for Small Treasures on Nov. 8, a Friday, from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring wine and appetizers. The show runs through the end of November. Find more information at www.minthillarts.org, or call 980-226-5532.