Big talent, small art

Exhibit at Heritage Center showcases miniatures

“Bigger isn’t always better” is certainly the case with the delicate style of painting known simply as miniature art.

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, located on Highway 73 before the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has been hosting a miniature art exhibit throughout the summer that will continue through Sept. 12.

The exhibit features 35 artists from all over the world as part of the “Miniature Artists of America Traveling Exhibition.”

Heritage Center Director Bob Patterson said, “An artist creates a complete work of art on a canvas no bigger than a Post-It note.”

The center’s marketing director, Nancy Williams said the exhibit is “like none other I’ve seen.” She said the paintings are so precise that many visitors have mistaken them for photographs.

“The work has all the qualities of any size paintings, these just happen to be miniature size,” said Williams.

Visitors have enjoyed viewing the work, which requires close scrutiny. She said the most popular paintings have been Smoky Mountain scenes, like the paintings of a waterfall and a bear in Cades Cove.

Local artists Catherine Girard and Wes and Rachelle Siegrist have been actively involved in the exhibit, providing not only work for the display but also demonstrations and lectures about the miniature style of painting.

She said the local artists will be offering two more demonstrations and sharing information about their craft. For more information on upcoming demonstrations - dates are to be announced - call the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center at 865-448-0044.

The exhibit is free of charge and open to the public during the center’s hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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