The Angelica Kauffman Gallery: A Curatorial Project by Elaine Luther
How the Miniature Gallery Came to Be
I’ve been working with miniatures in my art for ages, since 2006, at least. And I started out as a jeweler and metalsmith, so this is a scale that makes sense to me. As the gallery is getting started, in March, 2021, I’ve been doing as my 100 Day Project, 100 Days of Photos with Miniatures. For those, each day I take a photo with my vintage wooden spools that once held thread, arranged with other small objects, including doll house miniatures. Some of them are artsy and some of them are cute, such as the Crazy Cat Lady one and the Plant Lady one.
It just kind of evolved, that there could be a tiny art gallery, at that same scale I was working with every day. Oh! And there was also a conversation online, about an artist in Seattle who’s started a sort of Little Free Library for art. Take an art, leave an art.
An artist I know suggested I take a dollhouse and start a sort of miniature cultural center! I just happen to have an extra dollhouse, and I thought about putting the gallery inside of that. The challenge is that it’s very, very pink and might be hard to paint, and it’s kind of dark inside, at least if you’re trying to take pictures and videos and share them online!
So I decided to build a stand-alone gallery.
Here it is, in progress, so very close to completion. I’m painting the floor gray to look like a concrete floor.
I’ve ordered miniature benches and wine and cheese for the gallery. The wine and cheese will only be in the gallery for the opening reception of course. I have work from a few artists in hand already, and I’ve begun photographing the art and posting it on the gallery’s Instagram.
Update, 4/11/21: I’ve now built a second gallery, you can see the build process in this post.
The micro gallery, The Angelica Kauffman Gallery has its own Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelicakauffmangallery
See below for an archive of all shows in the gallery, and to learn how to participate.
How to Participate with the Micro Gallery
The general, on-going Call for Art as well as specific ones can be seen here: https://www.elainelutherart.com/call-for-art-very-small-art
Member, the Guild of Micro Galleries
We are proud to be members of the international Guild of Micro Galleries, https://www.guildofmicrogalleries.com
Archive of Exhibitions in the Angelica Kauffman Gallery, a Micro Gallery 2021-Present
Second Show at the Angelica Kauffman Gallery
Welcome to the opening reception of our second show! Art by:
Charity Capili Ellis @ccapelliscreate and https://capiliellisdesign.space (Group of four works.)
Tess Dillenberger @tessdillenberger (Pen and ink)
Gina Lee Robbins@ginallerobbins and https://www.ginaleerobbins.com (Woven metal)
Shilin Hora @shilinhora https://www.shilinhora.com (Work on easel with seeds)
Jill Kramer @chimerapress.jakramer and www.jillakramer.com (Collage/painting on back wall)
Elaine Luther @elaine_luther and https://www.elainelutherart.com (Freestanding sculpture)
And the flowers are a gift to celebrate our being admitted to the Guild of Micro Galleries! For our reception, we have wine, cheese and EANABs, Equally Attractive Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Most artworks are for sale, contact the artist directly to purchase! (Works by Elaine Luther and Gina Lee Robbins are not for sale.) Additional photos of this show are on the gallery’s Instagram. This show went live April 12, 2021.
First Show at the Angelica Kauffman Gallery
This show went live on Instagram on March 28th! Thanks so much to our very first artists for being willing to make special tiny art for our gallery! Here are additional views of the show.
Mosaic by Terry Clarbour and painting by Maria Romero Luther.
Links to the artists’ websites and social media handles can be found on the gallery’s Instagram.
Links to Blog Posts about Additional Shows in the Angelica Kauffman Gallery
There have been so many shows already, that if I post a record of each of them here, as I had planned, this page could become quite full and slow to load! Instead, I’ll link to the blog posts below, one post for each show. It’s now August 2021 and we’ve held a dozen shows! With three solo shows booked for fall!
June 2021 Solo Shows at The Waste Shed
For the month ofJune 2021, three micro galleries went to the Glass Case Gallery at The Waste Shed, Chicago’s Premier Creative Reuse Store. Each gallery featured a solo show by an artist: Andrew Venell, Terry Clarbour and Bryan Northup.
May 2021 – Introducing the Dollhouse Art Center!
In late May 2021, we added the Angelica Kauffman Dollhouse Art Center, which includes a cafe! You can see that one (summer 2021) in the window of the Calypso Moon Studio in Oak Park, IL and the blog post about that show is here:
July 2021 Mel Kolstad Solo Show
In July 2021, we hosted a solo show with Mel Kolstad, you can see the blog post about that show here:
July 2021 Group Show
Also in July, we hosted a group show that traveled to The Seed boutique in Riverside, IL. Here’s a photo of that show:
We made a video of all the shows we’ve hosted, from April to June 2021, you can see that in this post:
Our August 2021 group show was Black & White & Red All Over, and featured two U.K. artists.
And in August, I asked myself, How Small is Too Small? And started putting tiny art into mint tins, sardine tins and cough drop tins. You can see them all here:
Angelica Kauffman Gallery at the Terrain Biennial, Fall 2021
We built an outdoor version of the micro gallery for the Terrain Biennial 2021, with support from the Awesome Foundation Chicago! During the approximately 6 week run of Terrain, we changed out the show three times. Here’s the first show:
And here’s a blog post that’s the 2021 Year in Review for the gallery: https://www.elainelutherart.com/a-look-back-at-2021-for-the-micro-gallery
Amazingly, in the gallery’s first year, the various box galleries and dollhouses were out in display in store windows, boutiques, a library, and a glass case gallery inside a creative reuse store, for 12.5 months total. Which is amazing, considering we didn’t start the gallery in January.
As of this writing, in August 2022, the galleries have lived entirely online, with no public outings, but there will be a big show in 2024, and we’re waiting to hear about a public showing later this year.
2022 at the Angelica Kauffman Gallery
For 2022, I decided to switch from group shows to mostly solo shows. In part because it’s easier for me, (just one package to receive and statement to gather), and in part because it’s more fun for the artists – they can create a solo show, a vision, and create their own masterpiece of a show in the gallery. And they’re having a lot of fun with it.
I’m currently putting on about two shows per month. So far this year we’ve hosted solo shows with:
January: Charity Ellis, Sarah Arriagada
February: Melonie Mulkey, Jen Bromel
March: Nina Wood, Paul Malone
April: Rebecca Potts Aguirre, Juan C. Hernandez
May: Group Show, Taking Up Space. This show included art by Kelley Clink, Amanda Mulcahy, Jill Nahrstedt, Cathleen Cramer, Eve Lynch, Deirdre Colgan Jones and Elaine Luther. Taking Up Space is a global initiative to show art by women and non-binary artists in May.
June: Pricilla Perkins
July: Heather Lowe, Emily Runnerstrom
August: Tess Dillenberger, Dollhouse Takeover
September: Stephanie Capps Dyke, Annie Zirin, Phyllis Frick
October: Jean Gray Mohs
November, December: TBA!
January – February 2022 Solo Shows by Jen Bromel, Charity Ellis and Sarah Arriagada
February 2022 Solo Show by Melonie Mulkey
Here’s an interview and an image of the solo show with Melonie Mulkey: https://www.elainelutherart.com/interview-with-the-artist-melonie-mulkey
July 2022 Solo Show by Emily Runnerstrom
Going a bit out of order, here’s the interview with the artist, Emily Runnerstrom, along with views of her solo show of encaustic art.
In between Emily’s show and Mel’s show we had multiple group shows of quilts by members of Zak Foster’s Quilty Nook. Looks like I was so busy with those shows, and posting them on Instagram – that I haven’t done a blog post yet. There have been 3 group shows so far, with two more to come! And something over 30 quilts!
In December, 2022 we had shows with Rachel Hancock and Jean Gray Mohs. In October 2022, we hosted a solo show of quilts by Stephanie Capps Dyke, you can read her interview on the blog here. The interview with Jean Gray Mohs is here. In August, 2022 we hosted Tess Dillenberger and her illustrations on matchboxes, with tiny coordinating books inside each matchbox! More updates and pictures to come!
January 2023 Dollhouse Art Center Takeover by Mel Kolstad
This show features almost 300 collages by Mel Kolstad, each collage is just 1″ x 1″. The back exterior wall has 90 collages on it. Here are some images of this show of amazingly detailed works of art. See more in the blog post.