Column: The smallest gallery


It’s small, but not too small. Just small enough to earn the prestigious moniker World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery according to the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Operated by the all-volunteer Carmel Arts Council, it is nestled in the heart of the Carmel Arts & Design District. The fairytale-like cottage boasts some of the finest work by local artists who still line up for recess and are studying multiplication tables.

This month, the gallery has on display amazing art from Cherry Tree Elementary School. Under the inspiration and tutelage of art teacher Kate Ristow, the students have produced an exhibit to whisk your imagination to new places.

The first graders drew inspiration from Piet Mondrian’s art form called “Neoplasticism.” Mondrian’s art uses grids of horizontal and vertical black lines which are filled in with primary colors. The first grade’s “Mondrian Animals” were created by using primary color markers. Thank goodness the artists were on hand to explain.

The Cherry Tree second grade worked on a “Creative Line” exercise by creating “Crazy Hair” drawings with sharpies. They also made “patterned giraffes” in crayon and watercolor paint. Giraffes of every shape and size. The fourth-grade students fashioned “Name Tangles” in markers and crayons while the fifth graders immersed themselves in to “Opt Art.” Hand drawings in marker and Leapin Lizzards in oil pastel.

This past Sunday, artists held an open house and more than 350 people visited the gallery not to just see the amazing work, but to also enjoy the new renovations. The interior of the gallery has been renovated and updated to better show off the traveling masterpieces which grace its walls throughout the year.

Cherry Tree is not the only school with an exhibit now on display. Although the gallery is small, there is still room for middle school art teachers, Michelle Proffitt, Gwen Gaw, Leslie Ward and Lisa Rettig to also display their students’ work. And, in a special area of the gallery, an international flavor will greet you. Student art from Xiangyang, China along with Carmel High School art interpretations of the Chinese Mooncake Festival are joined by student art from Kawachinagano, Japan; both Carmel sister cities. October hours are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All exhibits are free and open to the public. Critics proclaim, “It is a must see.” Good Day, Carmel.

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