Arch Enemy Arts is showing what you can do with 12 inches

Mike Bell's "David Bowie" on a matchbox. Photo Credit: Julia West
Artist Mike Bell put David Bowie on a matchbox. Credit: Arch Enemy Arts

Fact: Miniatures are cuter than their full-size counterparts. Make teeny artwork, and you add another dimension — small creations can go from adorable to alluring and strangely intimate. Arch Enemy Arts has tapped into this idea with the gallery’s second annual ‘Small Wonders’ group show, comprised of almost 40 artists, local and visiting. All pieces are no more than 12 inches, and less than $250 in price.

The opening reception is the gallery’s first cash-and-carry show, meaning once you buy a piece of artwork, it comes off the wall and goes home with you. No more of that pesky waiting around for a show to close in order to get your new piece of decor.

“Typically the shows stay intact until the closing, but with this one we’re just going to take it right off the wall, wrap it up and give it to you,” explains Patrick Shillenn, Arch Enemy Art’s co-founder and director. Shillenn expects items to go fairly quickly, too. “Openings have a good energy, but there’s something a little more fun about Small Wonders,” he says. “The prices are more reasonable, so people don’t have to go home and sleep on it or spend as much time thinking about whether they should buy or not.”

That really sums up the reasoning behind putting on a show like this. “We came up with it last year as an affordable art show. Rather than compromise the quality of a piece, we went smaller. It gives people the ability to get something from artists that they like at a price they can afford,” says Shillenn.

The show includes illustrations, photography, fiber art and paintings, and there will be plenty to choose from — perfect if you’re looking to bang out a chunk of holiday shopping in one fell swoop. Each artist was allowed to submit up to 10 pieces, so expect a few hundred pieces of original artwork on display. If you find a gift for someone special, that’s great. But if you end up keeping it for yourself, we totally understand.

Can’t make it to the opening night? Arch Enemy Arts has come up with a way to provide affordable artwork anytime, with a new arts boutique, opening the same night as “Small Wonders.” There will be limited-edition prints, hand-screened t-shirts and other artsy finds, such as hand-bound sketchbooks.

‘Small Wonders’
Arch Enemy Arts
109 Arch St.
Opening reception Dec. 6, 6-10 p.m.
Show runs until Dec. 22
215-717-7774
www.archenemyarts.com


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