STILL LIFE MINIATURE

This still life by Carol Zimmerman and many other pieces are on display at the MonDak Heritage Center for their annual miniatures show.

The 31st Annual Miniature Art Show will be on display through Saturday, Jan. 15 at the MonDak Heritage Center.

One of the best and most anticipated art shows of the year, the Miniature Art Show highlights artists from around the world who work in the miniature format. The artists are restricted to creating works no larger than 5” x 7” and many produce work far smaller, sometimes as small as a postage stamp, with amazing detail.

This year’s show features over 60 entries from two dozen local and national artists and includes acrylic, collage, pastel, pencil, oil, watercolor and mixed media pieces. Nearly all of the artwork is for sale and any piece would make a great gift.

The miniature arts pieces are judged by a local artist who understands composition, originality, and artistry. Using these three criteria, prizes awarded to the top three entries. The winners will be announced by the second week of the show.

Miniature art is fine art with a centuries old history. It is most often extremely detailed work, exquisite in color with strength of composition which can compete with larger paintings. A compositional guide requires each piece be no more than 1/6th scale of the actual subject.

A miniature usually takes as long or longer to produce as a large piece of art. A fine miniature can be magnified many times and it will still hold together as a fine work of art of much greater size.

Most artists can work large but it requires great skill and discipline to work miniature. This unique art form traces its roots back to book paintings and illuminated manuscripts in the 3rd century. Techniques such as stippling, hatching and pointillism are sometimes only discovered under magnification.

Miniature art sometimes defeats the viewer’s belief as to what is possible for the artist to create in such a small space. The end of the 19th century and the early years 20th century witnessed a revival period of interest in miniaturism, followed later by the current resurgence.

Today’s practitioners of miniaturism reach far beyond the portrait field, embracing a wide variety of subject matter, media and techniques.

On the practical side miniature art, with its minimal space requirements and wider affordability, places original fine art within reach of art lovers and collectors.

The MonDak Heritage Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 406-433-3500 or e-mail mdhc@richland.org.

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