Langley’s newest art gallery is modest in size.
Dubbed the Museum of Mini-Art, the contents could probably fit in a shoebox.
Linda DiRienzo, the curator of the 18-inch-by-18-inch space, drew inspiration from other such tiny galleries she visited in Portland neighborhoods when her son visited.
About the size of a small free library, the Langley MoMA currently houses eight small-scale works of art.
“I thought Langley needed it, especially our little neighborhood here in the Highlands,” DiRienzo said. “I thought it would be fun. The neighbors really enjoyed it.”
His son-in-law, Mark Kohlhaas, built the structure for his birthday this year.
Two of the artists on display in the small gallery are Greta and Carl Kohlhaas, DiRienzo’s grandchildren who also live in Langley.
Greta, 10, loves the scenery, which includes sunsets and flowers. She painted two small canvases, “Flower” and “Sunrise-Sunset”, both of which are in the Museum of Mini-Art.
Twelve-year-old Carl painted a replica of a famous, familiar piece of art. Titled “The Starry Night after Van Gogh,” the small-scale reproduction bears a striking similarity to the original piece, which is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He then wants to try painting the “Mona Lisa”.
DiRienzo herself has artwork on display at MoMA in Langley. His contribution includes a wire mesh and a single googly eye called “Cyclops: My Eye is on You”.
“I watch the kids, so I thought it was appropriate,” she laughed.
Over the years, DiRienzo has nurtured his grandchildren’s love of art.
“I wouldn’t call myself a producing artist, but I love art and have done it in the past,” she said. “I would like to do more in the future.”
Other gallery artwork includes pieces that DiRienzo collected from local artists and friends. Some of his neighbors have already expressed interest in exhibiting their work at the upcoming fair. Shows by a man or a woman can even be on the program.
Langley’s MoMA celebrated its grand opening on August 21. Greta and Carl took part in the Neighborhood Groundbreaking Ceremony, where all the little things were celebrated with mini appetizers, mini M&Ms and mini glasses of fizzy drinks.
DiRienzo said she wanted to have a new exhibit every month at the new gallery. She hopes the small museum can inspire other Whidbey Islanders to start their own. As far as she knows, the MoMA in Langley is the first of its kind on the island. It is located outside his house, a few meters from his neighbour’s small free library. Its neighborhood is a popular and pleasant place to walk.
“I think it helps build community, to have things like that, like the free library, the little museum,” she said. “I think it helps people say, ‘Well, this is a friendly neighborhood.’ I think it’s fun.
To see the Langley MoMA, go to 1056 Village Loop. Inquiries about viewing in the Small Gallery can be emailed to DiRienzo at [email protected]