A big deal for a mini artist

New store is part shop, gallery, stu­dio space for minia­tur­ist Shel­ley Acker


It’s big news for mini art. Shel­ley Acker has opened a new shop in Kentville fea­tur­ing tiny pieces of art cre­ated with great de­tail.

Minia­tur­ist Acker says she’s re­tired from her “real-life job” and is look­ing for­ward to show­ing peo­ple why she ar­gues mak­ing mini cre­ations is not a craft, but an art, at her new busi­ness named Free­dom Minia­tures.

The shop and gallery space is lo­cated at 45 Web­ster St. in Kentville, and is the only space of its kind in At­lantic Canada solely ded­i­cated to sell­ing minia­tures. The space has be­come Acker’s new job, but feels more like a big dream come true for the min­i­maker.

“I’m re­tired, so this isn’t meant to be stress­ful. If I’m not smil­ing as I walk through the door, I’ll change some­thing. But so far, I haven’t been able to wipe the smile from my face,” says Acker.

She cre­ates minia­ture ob­jects and dio­ra­mas on a one-12th scale, mean­ing if some­thing mea­sures one foot in real life, it mea­sures one inch in the dio­rama.

She’s a reg­u­lar at Camp Mini Ha Ha, a re­treat for minia­tur­ists that be­gan in Ber­wick and has since moved to the An­napo­lis Basin Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Corn­wal­lis.

Acker de­scribes feel­ing in­spired to open the store­front in late July when she was driv­ing through Kentville and spot­ted the ‘For Rent’ sign in the va­cant shop’s win­dow. She went ahead and con­tacted the land­lord on an im­pulse.

“It wasn’t a long-term plan and hasn’t been all thought out, but it’s some­thing that is mak­ing a lot of sense so far,” says Acker, who also uses the gallery and shop space as a stu­dio for her minia­ture cre­ations.

“I’m able to work on things ev­ery day, and also bring aware­ness to peo­ple that you don’t need a doll­house to ap­pre­ci­ate minia­tures.”

The shop dis­plays both pieces Acker is show­cas­ing, and oth­ers she has for sale, just as in an art gallery.

Cre­at­ing minia­tures as an art is ob­vi­ous to any­one look­ing at her pieces – a stu­dio, a work­shop, a mini wall of books carved into a life-sized stack of books, a bak­ery – and each show a stag­ger­ing amount of de­tail that’s im­pos­si­ble to miss.

Many fel­low minia­tur­ists have dropped in, and many mini new- com­ers as well – most of whom have been daz­zled by how real each piece ap­pears.

“It’s a lot of awe at just what it is that can be cre­ated, and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of see­ing what you ex­pe­ri­ence in real life, recre­ated in a smaller scale,” says Acker.


Shel­ley Acker is a minia­tur­ist – a cre­ator of tiny things – and has opened a new shop, gallery and stu­dio space at 45 Web­ster St. in Kentville. Her art cre­ations are made to a one-12th scale, mean­ing some­thing mea­sur­ing one foot in real life mea­sures one inch in Acker’s world.

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