Small but Mighty

Sometimes emails make me squeal with delight. When a message from Mckay Lenker of Tiny Art Show popped up in my inbox with a request to collaborate, I jumped at the chance! Mckay is the creator of Tiny Art Show, a series of miniature art installations set in unexpected places. She wrote to me with a proposal to create a site specific art show in an air vent hole on the front of our building. We are so thrilled with how the show turned out!

"From very early on I grew up with this great sense of imagination and fantasy. I love the idea of tiny, unknown worlds."

-Mckay Lenker

How did Tiny Art Show come to be, what's your backstory? 

When I was in art school, I was really insecure about my art. A professor gave my class an assignment that required each of us to display our artwork in public. I had been making some tiny 2x3 paintings on canvas, and thought it would be funny to hang them up low to the ground, with tiny exhibition titles (plus it go me out of having to talk to a gallery or coffee shop.) I hung my tiny paintings a few inches off the ground on a wall in downtown Provo, Utah and I was totally surprised by how many people stopped and got down on the ground to look at the little art show. I always kept that assignment in the back of mind, and a few years later I decided that I would start an official project! 

Your art shows are so detailed and ADORABLE! Can you share a bit about what goes into making your installations?

Thank you! Every show has so many details. For example, when I make a mini-pop up show I usually hand paint the tiny people, and I make the miniature frames myself. For our formal shows, I hand cut hundreds of tiny booklets with info about the artwork that people get to take with them. Because this started as a passion project, its definitely been a huge learning experience for me.

What inspires you?

I am often inspired by the nostalgia of my own childhood. I grew up believing in fairies (it didn't help that my mom would leave tiny notes from fairies in the little houses I would build) So from very early on I grew up with this great sense of imagination and fantasy. I love the idea of tiny, unknown worlds. I'm also inspired by artists like Slinkachu and Candy Chang- I love art that is left to be enjoyed by the community. 

We are certainly inspired by Mckay and her Tiny Art Show! You can view the installation 24/7 outside our storefront at 3043 24th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. 

By Jennie Lennick
Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco

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