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Miniature art show makes art more accessible, says painter

Argyle’s Pre-Shrunk art show opens Friday

3 min read
Woman holds painting
caption Melissa Townsend holds a piece featured in Pre-Shrunk 2019.
Justin Gollop

Melissa Townsend’s art may be small, but her love for her miniature pieces is massive.

Ten of her oil paintings will be showcased at the Pre-Shrunk art show at the Argyle Fine Art gallery opening Friday. The show will feature around 400, four by five inch pieces. All exhibits will sell for $175.

“I know that a lot of people don’t have the ability, always, to have large pieces or collect more expensive pieces of art, so this is a really easy, fun way for anybody to come in,” said Townsend.

Woman holds painting next to paint brushes
caption Townsend with a Pre-Shrunk piece in her studio.
Justin Gollop

Townsend studied at the Halifax NSCAD University and graduated in 2005. In 2011, when she was studying graphic design at NSCC, she heard about Pre-Shrunk. She decided to submit pieces and her work has been shown at every show since.

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For Townsend, working on a small scale painting is “less intimidating” compared to the usual size of her pieces: 30 inches by 30 inches or larger.

“It was, personally, just easier to do than a big, giant piece. It’s easier on my mind,” she said.

The importance of miniature art

Adriana Afford, owner of Argyle Fine Art, said the gallery first started Pre-Shrunk 15 years ago. She has found the show has a nostalgic feel for attendees.

“It kind of goes back to nostalgia when people are children and things are smaller and you’re playing with them,” she said.

Afford said niche shows, like Pre-Shrunk, are important for the arts community.

“There’s definitely artists that we showcase that are strictly miniature artists, so there’s definitely a need for that and there’s definitely a community of miniature art makers and collectors,” she said.

The exhibit runs until Feb. 16.

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About the author

Justin Gollop

SMU grad (BA ‘18), journalist for The Signal, breakfast enthusiast, and friendly neighbourhood note-taker.

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