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El Paso ISD Students ‘go big’ for Miniature Art Exhibit

Art has the power to captivate in a grand scale — even when the medium is no more nine inches wide.

More than 75 EPISD high school students showed their artwork for the miniature exhibit “Private Conversations” at the Hal Marcus Gallery.

EPISD Visual Arts Facilitator Rosa Aguilar chose the exhibit’s concept — to produce an art piece that is no bigger than 9 inches or weigh more than 10 pounds — as a way to challenge the students.

“What typically happens with artists is they are used to working in a certain scale, usually in medium and large sizes,” Aguilar said. “It really is a challenge to work on a such a small scale.”

Aguilar added that artists tend to be more personal when painting in such small spaces.

Miniature Art“One of the things that happens when you work on a miniature piece is that it becomes a very intimate conversation,” she said. “That’s why we called the exhibit ‘Private Conversations’ because it’s a very personal space.”

For Chapin senior Raquel Croom, that personal space is one of her favorite places in the world: Japan. She used that emotional connection as inspiration for her 3×3-inch canvas painting.

“I just moved here from Japan. My painting is one of the streets in Japan where I used to walk with my friends. I miss it a lot,” Croom said.

She drew the scene from her memory, recollecting the details of the streetlights and the vibrant colors of the building.

“It was really cool to be part of this show,” Croom said. “It was very interesting working in such a small space. At first I thought it was going to be tedious working so small, but I really enjoyed it. I would do it again.”

Celebrated artist Hal Marcus was on hand to talk to the students, giving advice to the budding artists on how to be successful in the art world.020217_Miniature art show_23_copy

“Lots of times when you go to college or art school they don’t really prepare the artist for the real world. It’s not just about being creative. It’s also about how you’re going to be an artist and eat,” Marcus said. ” It’s a good experience for them to see what it’s like in a commercial art gallery.”

Students had the opportunity to sell their artwork, if they chose to. They will also get a chance to discuss their pieces on Feb. 16 during an art talk at the gallery.

Aguilar collaborated with the gallery to display the students’ artwork, knowing it was the perfect venue to properly display the kind of pieces they were creating.

“When you’re working with miniatures if you have a very large space, small work gets swallowed and lost,” Aguilar said. “In a gallery like this one, which is a converted Sunset Heights home, the architecture is already intimate and so the work fits perfectly into it. It embraces it.”

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