On Friday, May 25 we’ll be celebrating the opening of Garden of Grief, Rebecca Reeves’ new installation in our Little Free Library Gallery. Her ongoing themes of loss and mourning—intertwined with the compulsion to protect the relics left behind by the dead—resonate with me on a deeply personal level, and it’s such an honor to be hosting her work in our tiny gallery.
Rebecca will be here in person to talk about her work, plus we’ll have two additional guests for a special “Porch Salon” conversation about grief as it relates to the themes of Rebecca’s art: Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand and Coleman Stevenson, creator of the Dark Exact Tarot and author of Breakfast: 43 Poems. Megan will be talking about the importance of sharing our stories of loss, and Coleman will be reading a poem inspired by Rebecca’s work.
We hope you’ll join us from 7-9pm! Our Little Free Library Gallery may be found near 600 N. Mason St. in Portland, Oregon.
The Haunted Menagerie gallery show
Our Haunted Menagerie exhibition—a celebration of spirit familiars and ghostly pets—is on view now in our Little Free Library gallery in North Portland. The show features new original artwork by Diane Irvine Armitage, Stephanie Buscema, Jenny Fontana, Darla Jackson, Gretchen Lewis, Dena Seiferling, and Joe Vollan.
THE SHOW IS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT—CONGRATULATIONS ARTISTS!
Artwork purchases will be shipped after the exhibition closes on March 15.
Diane Irvine Armitage, “Lover’s Eye”
Diane is donating all proceeds from the sale of this piece to the Scott Wainner Pixie Care Clinic, which provides affordable veterinary care to the pets of homeless and low income Portland residents.
Oil painting in antique frame, 3.5 x 3.5 inches including frame
Price: $85 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://paintingsfromtheparlor.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Buscema, “The Baum Rabbit”
Steph is donating all proceeds from the sale of this piece to the Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center, dedicated to saving all companion animals whose lives are in jeopardy. Included on the grounds is Sheltervale Pet Cemetery, which has been the final resting place for companion animals for more than 89 years.
Gouache on Stonehenge paper, 4.5 x.4.5 inches including frame
Price: $225 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://www.stephaniebuscema.com/
Jenny Fontana, “Ghostly Baroos Haunt Me at Twilight”
Jenny is donating all proceeds from the sale of this painting to One Tail at a Time, an all-breed, no-kill dog rescue committed to lowering euthanasia rates through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need; comprehensive support of adopters; and community outreach through humane education programs and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families.
Acrylic on mounted bristol, 3.25 x 3.25 inches including frame
Price: $55 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://www.morbidmerrygoround.com/
Darla Jackson, “What dies inside us...”
Darla is donating all proceeds from the sale of this piece to Underdog Rescue, who provide shelter, food, medical attention, and love to homeless pets.
Epoxy resin with raw graphite finish, approximately 3.25 inches long x 2 inches wide x .75 inches tall
Price: $200 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: https://www.darlajacksonsculpture.com/
Gretchen Lewis, “Love me forever”
Gretchen is donating all proceeds from the sale of this piece to the Coral Reef Alliance, an organization working to protect our most valuable and threatened ecosystem.
Oil and gold acrylic on wooden trinket box, 3.5 x 2 x 1 inches
Price: $200 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://www.gretchenlewisart.com/
Dena Seiferling, “Cat’s in the Cradle”
Dena is donating all proceeds from the sale of this piece to the Raincoast Conservation Foundation Save the Great Bears fund to permanently end commercial trophy hunting of all large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Wool (needle-felted), glass beads, wood, vintage cradle, acrylic and milk paint, hand dyed wool and linen fabric, approximately 4.25 inches long x 2.25 inches wide (at base) x 3.5 inches tall
Price: $230 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://www.pickleandfrancois.com/
Joe Vollan, “Tiptoe over the poppies”
Joe is donating all proceeds from the sale of this painting to Awesome Paws Rescue, an all breed dog rescue whose focus is rescuing shelter dogs at risk of euthanasia simply due to overcrowding.
Oil on birch panel in resin frame, 3 x 2.75 inches
Price: $100 [SOLD]
Artist’s web site: http://www.joevollan.com/
Library “mural” by Rebecca Artemesa
On November 9 in a post-election state of shock, I bought a teeny tiny geode and a zine and sat down with both of them in a favorite coffee shop, because I didn’t know what else to do. Together, they were a small but much-needed band-aid for a broken heart. And ever since, I’ve been carrying the zine - All of Them Brujas by Portland artist Rebecca Artemisa - as a talisman in my bag.
Rebecca has conjured Hope Spirits, a magical new painting especially for the south-facing side of our Little Free Library. This mini-mural will be a beacon for visitors, and serve as a spell for all to find strength and power in the stories contained within the Library’s books.
You can find more of Rebecca’s work in her Etsy shop, on Instagram, or, if you’re lucky enough to be in Portland, her zines can sometimes be found in the magical Venderia machines around town.
Beyond the Pale at The Creeping Museum
Danielle Schlunegger-Warner’s Beyond the Pale installation opened in our Little Free Library gallery as a series of Category 5 hurricanes flooded cities and left a swath of destruction in their wakes. The miniature drowned world she created - a Victorian study filled with books, specimens, maps, and other tools used by humankind to make sense of the natural world, flooded and reclaimed by the sea - inspires both wonder and dread as it foreshadows a not-so-distant future. Repeat Creeping Museum visitors may recognize the tiny 1:12 scale replica of Danielle’s “Frozen Island” bell jar from our previous Ghost Stories exhibition.
As part of the installation, Danielle curated a special selection of books for distribution in our Little Free Library. Each title echoes the themes of the miniature world she’s building in our gallery: Our ongoing struggle to understand and conquer the natural world, and the unfathomable changes that are coming within this lifetime.
Beyond the Pale is on view in our tiny North Portland gallery (3 blocks east of the Q Center) through the end of October.
"Ghost Stories" artist spotlight
To me, the beautiful yet strange illustrations of @munichartstudio feel as though they’ve slipped from the pages of an old, old storybook written in a language I don’t recognize. The artist herself is an enigma; @liquidnight claims to have once met her in person, but @hircumvetulum and I suspect Becky may actually be a stack of cats in a long coat, masquerading as a person. We’re huge fans of @munichartstudio here at The Creeping Museum, and we’re so excited to have her be part of our very first (tiny) real-world exhibition!
Our next “Ghost Stories” creator is Philadelphia-based poet, artist, curator, and moth Maggie Lily (@thehauntedhawkmoth). Visit her cut-paper fairy tale world at your own risk: it is as dark and dangerous as it is enchanting. Her book Mayflies - a collection of illustrated poems which chronicle a journey of healing from childhood sexual trauma - is intimate, disturbing, and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Just a day or two after I had a harebrained idea to use our Little Free Library as a public exhibition space, a mysterious little parcel arrived from Austria from imaginary friend Claudia Six (@iamyouaresix). Nestled within this unexpected (and auspicious) package was a tiny sculpture that could belong nowhere else but inside a dollhouse-sized imaginary museum, so of course it had to be included in our “Ghost Stories” exhibition. Claudia uses various mediums (including delightfully unexpected public installations) to bring bits and pieces of her fantastical world into ours - join her and she’ll be your imaginary friend, too.
“Unreliable curator” Danielle Schlunegger-Warner (@naturalistandco) makes everything from tiny worlds suspended in time inside tiny bell jars, to immersive walkthrough reimagined natural history installations. As a Glean artist-in-residence, she’s currently turning her wunderkammer eye to Portland’s waste transfer station to make magic from some of the city’s million-plus tons of annual landfill waste!
Layla Sullivan (@hircumvetulum) is one-half of The Creeping Museum, and lives and breathes art in any and every medium she can get her hands on. She’s even innovated a groundbreaking technique for painting with the byproducts of her salon, the Bobby Pin. We love you Layla! #gofortheartstayforthehairpiles
"Blessed Thistle" by Kathleen Lolley
Not content to keep the art on the inside of the museum, I wanted to mount work on the outside for passers-by to enjoy. “Blessed Thistle” by Kathleen Lolley offers a magical symbol of protection and healing to library visitors. The Scotch thistle is associated with the Cross of Lorraine (emblem of Joan of Arc and the French Resistance) and is also the logo of the Encyclopædia Britannica.
Neil Gaiman, attesting to the importance of libraries, declared that “Books are the way that we communicate with the dead.” But when the past speaks, are we listening?
Our first exhibition, "Ghost Stories," features new work by Maggie Lily, Becky Munich, Claudia Six, Danielle Schlunegger-Warner, and Layla Sullivan.
Maggie Lily (@thehauntedhawkmoth) created “One Tuesday Death and Love met in the field as rabbits” especially for our “Ghost Stories” exhibition.
Maggie is selling 5 x 7 inch prints of this exquisite cut paper piece, with a secret story hidden on the back. Buy one for just $10 (plus shipping) and support two good causes: Half of the sale price goes to support the work of Maggie herself, a young emerging artist and writer (and recent graduate) who’s already active in a number of Philadelphia community arts projects. She’s generously donating the other half to Project SAFE, “an all-volunteer grassroots organization providing advocacy and support for women working in street economies.” SAFE’s mission is to “promote human rights-based public health among women working in the sex and drug trades on the street in Philadelphia.” Visit @thehauntedhawkmoth for more info on purchasing her prints!
Becky Munich (@munichartstudio) created “A Ghoul and Her Book” especially for “Ghost Stories,” the first exhibition inside our Little Free Library public gallery space. This original drawing is framed in a 3 inch x 4 inch antique paper cabinet card holder.
Becky generously volunteered to donate the proceeds from the sale of this piece to The Creeping Museum, to help fund more projects like this one. Thank you, Becky!!
Imaginary friend Claudia Six (@iamyouaresix) is magic. How else can you explain this tiny sculpture - entitled “i follow” - materializing on the doorstep of The Creeping Museum all the way from Austria, just a day or two after the idea of a tiny exhibition of tiny ghost art was first conceived? So of course we made some room for these little creeps in our “Ghost Stories” show!
Visit @iamyouaresix to see all the different mediums through which Claudia brings her wonderful imaginary world to life.
“Frozen Island” by Danielle Schlunegger-Warner (@naturalistandco) is a tiny diorama under glass. Suspended inside a 2 inch x 3 inch bell jar is a handmade model of a 19th century merchant ship navigating icebergs in an Arctic sea.
Danielle has elected to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this piece to Our Children’s Trust (@youthvgov), an organization “elevating the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations.” This organization is supporting the landmark ‘Juliana v. U.S.’ lawsuit filed by a group of young people, asserting that through actions that cause climate change, the U.S. government has “violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.”
This original artwork is available for sale in our shop.
What better way to celebrate a tiny library than with a tiny spider-lady in pursuit of a tiny fly-book? “Web” was conjured by our own Layla Sullivan (@hircumvetulum) in ink and watercolor on cold press paper. This wee 4.25 inch by 3.25 inch original is ready to hang in a vintage metal frame with convex glass (easel not included).
This original artwork is available for sale in our shop.
Although the focus of our tiny gallery is on original pieces of miniature art, I saved a spot in our “Ghost Stories” exhibition for this painting by @pantovola.art. “La Loba” was inspired by a Mexican folk tale about a wolf woman who collects the bones of animals and sings them back to life. Pantovola kindly made a miniature print just for our exhibition, but you can obtain the full-sized giclée of her painting in her Etsy shop.