The magical world of miniatures
It all began when I received a most surprising invitation. Opening the small, padded envelope, I found a gold tissue-wrapped package, and inside that was a magnifying glass and the smallest invitation I’d ever seen. The tiny writing on the miniature
message was impossible to read without the magnifier. The captivating invitation, the brainchild of Coaticook artist Connie Marcoux, was for an exhibit of miniatures going on at Coaticook’s smallest art gallery, Chez Koni – Galerie/Atelier d’Art.
A total of twelve artists are taking part in the L’Univers Miniatures show, each providing unique and, of course, tiny creations that are a delight to discover, from miniature canvases painted with toothpicks and mounted on tiny easels, Victorian houses complete with flickering lanterns, to miniature books, and much more in between.
Pnina-Soleil Marcoux, Connie’s daughter, pointed out her contribution to the exhibit: intricate handmade jewelry. “I started making jewelry seriously about five years ago. Lately, I had been making very large necklaces, but when the miniature exhibit came up, it made me think it would be fun to downsize them,” she explained as we toured the gallery. “People really liked the smaller versions so I’ll continue making them even after the show.” Pnina was inspired to create her ‘Electron’ collection of jewelry from doing Zentangles, images created by drawing structured patterns.
Pnina-Soleil didn’t only contribute her artistic creations to the exhibit; she also used her marketing skills, learnt at Bishop’s University, to create a great poster for the show. “I hope to put together a website soon for my jewelry. Everything is online these days; there’s a change in the formula of how art is sold. I want to use what I learnt in school to work with social media like Facebook.”
A child’s playroom at Christmastime!
I was glad to have the magnifying glass as I continued to explore the diminutive creations. There were themed shadow boxes, ingeniously created by skilled hands and, undoubtedly, tiny tweezers. How on earth does someone even make a recycling bin, a centimeter long and filled with miniscule bits of recycling, for a six inch wide porch? A child’s playroom shadow box was another impressive work with its train set and tiny toys, all Lilliputian in size.
When examining the miniature bookshelves, I was surprised to find several well-known titles. “This artist makes special orders for people, putting their favourite books on the shelves,” explained Connie. “Everyone has the same drive to put in as much detail into their minis as they can,” added her daughter about the artists in the exhibit, all members of the recently formed Coati-minis group.
Following the mini tour, as we nibbled on tiny cookies and a miniature chocolate cake, washed down with coffee in tiny cups, Connie commented: “I love miniatures and this is a tiny gallery. So after the exhibit, we’ll continue to have some miniatures at the gallery.”
Whether you enjoy making or collecting miniatures yourself, or just want to experience the magical world of miniatures, the L’Univers Miniatures exhibit at Gallery Chez Koni, on Child Street in Coaticook, is well worth a visit.
Pnina-Soleil Marcoux holds a miniature version of the necklace she is wearing.