published Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Why small is sometimes better when it comes to art

IF YOU GO

What: "Micro-Analysis: A Small Works Exhibition."

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through June 16.

Where: Association for Visual Arts' main gallery, 30 Frazier Ave.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 265-4282

Lauren Goforth, programs assistant at the Association for Visual Arts, says too often people confuse the size of a piece of art as being representative of its importance or quality. But larger isn't always better.

"A small work can have the exact impact as that of a large work," Goforth said. "The small work requires you to get up close and personal with it. It really forces the viewer to look at it more closely ... it draws you in."

This premise is the inspiration for AVA's new exhibit, "Micro-Analysis: A Small Works Exhibition," which opened Saturday and continues through June 16. Artists were asked to submit ideas for a work no larger than 12 inches square. The call for art was open to AVA members and nonmembers.

Goforth said 22 artists applied for the exhibit, and 12 were selected. They are Nolan McGuire, Sandy Brown, Robert Cox, Elizabeth Pontvik, Robin Venable, Tim Searfoss, Mary B. Lynch, Karen Beard, Jean Pitts, Mary Clor, Gabriel Regagnon and Lisa Srok.

Lynch, who has been an AVA member since its founding in 1986, said her watercolor, "Caregivers," is a tribute to her late sister. It depicts two women in white uniforms walking in sunlight.

"My oldest sister was a supervisor in surgery at Erlanger for 35 years. I did this to commemorate her. I just feel for people who work in the medical field. They have to be good at what they do and very caring," said Lynch.

Cox, who is marking his second AVA exhibit, described his artwork as four layered drawings.

"There's a bottom layer that is watercolor on paper and three layers of drafting film on top. The film is a semi-transparent plastic that accepts traditional drawing materials like charcoal and graphite. I do contour drawings on the drafting film and layer those on the watercolor."

Cox said the small theme intrigued him because it fit well with his drawing technique.

"I think every piece of art has an optimum size. Sometimes a work calls for large-scale installation; at other times, there is a more intimate approach to drawing. A small drawing is meant to be seen up close, not looked at from a distance," he said.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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