“Small” Art: Creative & Inspired

May 24, 2014 |

The 22nd Annual Small Things Considered exhibition at Davis Dominguez Gallery is a institution unlike any other. With work by over 80 different Tucson-based artists, the exhibition presents a snapshot of what many of our city’s better-known artists are up to–with a slight twist. Each of the invited participants must provide a work of art that is 12” x 12” for painters or no larger than 18” tall for sculptures. The results of this restriction are both inspired and surprising.

“Tulum Boy,” by Moira Geoffrion

“Tulum Boy,” by Moira Geoffrion

With a list of artists that reads like a who’s who of the Tucson art world including names such as Julia and David Andres, James Cook, Bruce McGrew, Gary Benna and Jeff Smith, this show is a great introduction to some of our city’s best and brightest. According to gallery co-owner Mike Dominguez, painters Jim Waid and James Cook have participated in all 22 iterations of the show. Two pleasant surprises to watch for, as noted by Dominguez, were the LED-lit rocket ship sculpture, Ground Control to Major Tom by Bob Hassan, and a painting by Moria Geoffrion entitled Tulum Boy.

An interesting twist is this year’s inclusion of kinetic works. Several of the pieces feature either moving lights or moving parts as a key component of the work. Dominguez sees this as a 21st century development and is not sure what’s next. The aforementioned LED rocket, as well as a piece by Mike Fadel, which incorporates Lebanese olive oil and an altered music box, is particularly unique this year.

While I find myself drawn to works whose style I recognize, I’m also drawn to the works whose creator escapes me without a look at the title card. Work identified by Dominguez and his partner Candace Davis as artists to watch include two abstract painters, Karen DeClouet and Jenny Day, and photographer Claire Harlan—whose parents had possibly the first serious contemporary art gallery in Tucson in the 1970s.

Given the long history of this show, and the gallery itself, it’s natural to ask what Davis and Dominguez think of the local art world and what they have seen since they started. Dominguez sees Tucson as “still recovering from the financial crisis, especially in the young and emerging collector market,” but as a strong art community overall that has “riches yet to be unveiled.” This annual summer showcase is really a must-see for Tucson art lovers.

The 22nd Annual Small Things Considered show, at the Davis Dominguez Gallery—154 E. 6th St.—is currently open and on display through June 28. A reception is scheduled during the annual Summer Art Cruise on Saturday, June 7 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Visit DavisDominguez.com for more details.

Small works in the Salon Gallery. photo: Peter L Kresan

Small Works in the Salon Gallery. photo: Peter L Kresan


Category: Arts, Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE