Jody Ruggiero, head of teen services. (Photos courtesy the Syosset Public Library)

Tiny Canvases, Big Ideas

Beginning in February, the Syosset Public Library Mezzanine will be covered in paintings and drawings displayed on tiny canvases.
Kits that include a tiny canvas, mini easel, two paint brushes, five colors of paint and a pamphlet have been provided by the Syosset Public Library since late December.
“They could do whatever they want,” said Jody Ruggiero, head of teen services, who organized the event with children’s librarian Amy Badagliacca. “They could add their own paints at home if they had anything to use, mix the colors we gave them. They can make anything they wanted, and then bring it back and we would display them.”

Ice Poppy (Photo courtesy the Syosset Public Library)

The library gave out 200 of the kits.
A reception of the show will be held on Feb. 5 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Guests will be treated to tiny foods and tiny water bottles.
Ruggiero had seen the Tiny Art Show done at another library, as well as the attention it received on Facebook. Working at another library at the time, Ruggiero organized a Tiny Art Show.
“When I came [to the Syosset Public Library] they had mentioned it, and I said ‘I know how to do it,’” Ruggiero said. “We started it last year and it’s just been great. The community really likes it and they were excited to see it again this year.”

I Love Reading. (Photo courtesy the Syosset Public Library)

Tiny Art Shows are the brainchild of Utah art teacher McKay Lanker Bayer. According to a podcast she was featured in from the Art of Education University in Iowa, Mckay always loved creating tiny art pieces. While attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, she had to showcase her work in public as part of a project, so she put a tiny art gallery and magnifying glasses on a street corner. She sat on a bench nearby and noticed that people were stopping to look at the gallery. When she realized its popularity, she began curating Tiny Art Shows with local artists. The shows are also often paired with tiny refreshments.
And it seems that communities across the country have caught on, with many libraries hosting Tiny Art Shows of their own.
The Syosset Public Library has continued to feature artists in its gallery on a rotating basis.
This community, Ruggiero said, is very artistic, and they often enjoy getting involved with and supporting art events.
“It’s a lot of community building,” Badagliacca said. “We have a great community who loves their library.”
Next year, Ruggiero said, patrons can expect to see more kits available for the Tiny Art Show.

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