Tiny art for a tiny gallery
Take art, leave art, love art at Hamilton’s newest art gallery, the MMOMA
Matt Coleman is an artist, musician, art teacher, photographer and innovation coach for the Halton District School Board. The latest addition to his list of titles is founder and curator of Mapleside Museum of Miniature Art. The small art gallery is filled with tiny art and located on the front lawn of his home on Mapleside Drive.
Coleman was inspired to open MMOMA after learning about Stacy Milran’s miniature art gallery on the front lawn of her Seattle home. It is based on the concept of the Little Free Library in which people can take or leave an art piece or simply view and appreciate the art and talent being shared.
With some help from his neighbours and friends, Coleman built a small popup box on a stand for the gallery and exhibited his first set of art works around New Years of this year. Despite it having been open for only about a month, MMOMA has already garnered great love, interest and support from the local community.
“[MMOMA] is generating a little socially distant community hub for artists and makers. There are makers who specialize in miniature art and others who just want to participate,” explained Coleman.
The gallery is a center for all art lovers and anyone, including young children, are welcome to contribute. Inside the gallery, there is also a maker's kit in the shelf underneath the gallery floor.
The art itself can be two dimensional and three dimensional as long as it is miniature enough to fit inside the gallery. MMOMA has showcased sculptures on pedestals and hung some from the ceiling. Any 2D artwork is usually lined up against the railings inside the gallery.
With contributions from community members frequently pouring in, Coleman rotates the art around with new submissions. There is always a series of fresh new art to admire at the gallery.
Previews of what the gallery looks like can be found on MMOMA’s Instagram page where current and previous displays are posted. The social media page has also served as a place of connection and appreciating art for community members and artists who have left their pieces at the gallery.
MMOMA is not the only tiny art gallery in the city. Inspired by MMOMA, another gallery popped up on Beulah Avenue called Studio Beulah. It occupied its current location as a Little Free Library since last year, however, it recently transformed into an art gallery in the beginning of this year.
MMOMA will remain as a permanent exhibition and it has many exciting announcements coming up. It will be hosting artists for Hamilton’s Winterfest in February and with more petite street art galleries being introduced around the city such as Studio Beulah, Coleman hopes to one day run a tiny art crawl.
“I could see it being the start of a whole network of tiny art galleries and there being a truly tiny art crawl through the city of Hamilton which would be really cool,” said Coleman.
A miniature group art show is another idea Coleman hopes to turn into reality in the future. It will showcase miniature art of all the same size.
The opening of MMOMA was a delightful addition to city that fulfilled the local community’s craving for connections, the arts and positive change.
“I think maybe in a time of dreary news, [MMOMA] generated a little bit of positive buzz,” said Coleman.
As we all head back to campus for in-person classes in February, consider visiting MOMMA and sharing your art. The COVID-19 pandemic may have interfered with new experiences we were looking forward to and made community-building more difficult during the past two years; however, this tiny gallery is reminding all of us of the wonderful things that continue to surround us during pandemic.