Artwork & Soul: The Visual Arts – Fulfill The Artist Guiding An Ann Arbor Microgallery Of Miniature Artwork

Joe Levickas made the Creal Microgallery exhibition place found on Creal Crescent in Ann Arbor. It was designed as a publicly viewable, breadbox-sized exhibition place for smaller will work and functions contemporary artwork in a variety of media, giving particular awareness to tiny times, playful experiments, and unexpected discoveries.

Lisa Barry and Omari Rush talk to Levickas about his miniature art show.


Lisa Barry: You happen to be listening to 89-1 WEMU, and this is Art and Soul. This is Lisa Barry. This 7 days, Artwork and Soul is about the visible arts. So I am joined by the chair of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and executive director of CultureSource, Omari Rush. Good to speak to you, Omari.

Omari Hurry: Yeah, likewise, Lisa. Happy summer time.

Lisa Barry: We have a specific guest. He is an artist, a curator, an arts professional. Joe Levickas. Many thanks, Joe, for speaking to us.

Joe Levickas: Thank you for owning me.

Omari Hurry: Joe, it is so excellent to hear your voice and be reunited. We go way again, and it really is wonderful to be in a position to say that you go way back again with a man or woman. But, you know, Ann Arbor Artwork Center, the College of Michigan–you’ve been all over. How items been going?

Joe Levickas: Points have been likely well. It truly is an attention-grabbing pandemic. I feel everyone’s type of been shifting in phrases of the earth that they are participating in. Feel like it can be been a while given that I have witnessed every person.

Lisa Barry: You are aspect of the expanding trend of micro galleries, and you have a single established up in Ann Arbor. Tell us about that.

Joe Levickas: Certainly. So, in June, I opened up a location known as the Creal Micro Gallery, which, by spot I imply a 16 inch by 10 inch by 12 inch exhibition space. It is a breadbox-sized exhibition area for tiny will work. And it can be in my entrance garden, so, it’s a publicly available and publicly viewable exhibition place demonstrating a host of exhibitions by various artists.

Omari Rush: Now, Joe, did you establish the gallery you? How did it occur to be?

Joe Levickas: As much as I like to create things, I was not self-confident in my potential to make the box. So I procured the box. I purchased it, and it was transported. And then after I received it, I painted and embellished and whatnot. And I also constructed the movable wall that exists in it. And so, that sort of assists in terms of how to cling reveals and put in the perform.

Lisa Barry: We’ll share pics of it with this interview on our site, WEMU dot org. But how would you explain it for individuals who are like “A micro gallery? What exactly are you chatting about?”

Joe Levickas: Yeah, I visualize some thing that is kind of like a tiny free of charge library internet site. And it is it is matching shades to my property–teal and white–and it states Creal Micro Gallery. And there’s a window on the front, and you can glance in and it seems like a little miniature gallery in there. So, you can find a fake wooden flooring and some whitewall. And we have bought a wide variety of exhibitions that we have been setting up in there. And so, it sort of looks like you happen to be hunting into a real existence, whole-sized gallery, but devoid of necessarily hoping to pull the eye so significantly that persons say, “Well, what am I searching at?” It does seem like a, you know, comprehensive-sized gallery that I’m wanting at, because there are there are some galleries that have been able to be incredibly, very difficult about that. So it is really interesting.

Omari Hurry: I indicate, Joe, it seems wonderful. So congrats on that. And it also in some way felt really Joe. You know, when I appeared at the work on the within, what are your options for these exhibitions? Like, how usually are you preparing to transform it over? Are you the 1 completely earning the operate? Are other persons concerned?


Joe Levickas: Positive. So I have a variety of a adaptable program to almost certainly have about a person exhibition a thirty day period. The first exhibition was my do the job, partly since I was just tests out to make guaranteed that I was going to be protected in the outside in phrases of temperature and climate handle and factors like that. I experienced a series of smaller paintings that were being referred to as–the exhibition was known as–Compact Wins and Personal Victories, and they were kind of pics of young folks with trophies and medals all over their necks and showing incredibly happy. And some of that was actually about me recognizing that I necessary to come across a way to make get the job done in this time time period. My inventive workspace became my work workspace. And so, even obtaining place to do it, I understood that producing little paintings was truly extremely doable simply because I could do it in the similar correct location that I was operating. But in terms of the exhibitions just after that, we have had, the just one that we have up proper now, is some panoramic photographs by Andrew Stamm, who’s a St Louis-primarily based photographer. It can be named “Small Windows onto a Distant Entire world,” and that options shots from his excursion to Bruni Island in Tasmania. And that genuinely is variety of about currently being equipped to travel and go to areas that you are not in by means of these tiny very little pics. And I feel, suitable now, we are all form of hoping to travel a tiny little bit. And then we have got a series of other exhibitions that are coming up. I have obtained an L.A. based sculptor, Mike Whiting, who generally does these monumental metal sculptures, and he is likely to be acquiring some function in there. And then I also have a Michigan-based illustrator and comic artist, Marjorie Gaber, who I know from my other career at College of Michigan. So, her perform is heading to be up as nicely.

Lisa Barry: Just to explain, all these exhibitions are tiny. You are like miniature paintings. I appreciate very small paintings. You claimed that very small sculptures. Every little thing has to be compact to healthy in listed here?

Joe Levickas: Yeah, so it is 16 inches by 10 inches by 12 inches. So, it is almost everything kind of has to be tiny. I have some men and women say to me, “Wow, which is truly, really, truly miniscule.” And I mentioned, “Properly, you know, when you assume about it, like an 8 by 10 photo also matches in there pretty perfectly or a little something or other.” So, it is not as miniscule as it sounds when you begin pondering about it. But I actually required to established this up as a put that would exhibit the little works with no automatically needing to be little and itsy bitsy and kind of glimpse painted with one hairbrush or something like that.

Omari Rush: Joe, what’s been the reaction? I’m just imagining sitting at your entrance window and viewing folks, you know, pass by. And what shocked you about the way that persons have interacted with it?

Joe Levickas: I feel it really is funny. I imagine, you know, from when you passed it in the beginning, you may fe
el that it was a cost-free library and any person passes by and sometimes I see men and women move by and then they type of have the rubberneck minute, like, “Wait a 2nd. What did I just see?” And you see them stroll back again and seem at it. Also, I had people today travel up who have heard about it on the web and are intrigued in viewing additional about it. And so, I assume that you will find kind of a blend of people who are coming because they know what it is and folks who are stumbling throughout it. And, you know, in people very first days, of class, I am sitting down at my front window seeking to be not obnoxious and are folks. But it truly is been good. And it truly is constantly exciting to see when someone, you know, starts pursuing the Instagram site, they’ve they have witnessed it and they’re intrigued in next and mastering far more and points like that.

Lisa Barry: We need to have to be my age. I am going to be the 1 with the magnifying glass out. But it does seem like you have an outstanding array of artists who are taking part in this.

Joe Levickas: Yeah, it can be been genuinely great. I feel you can find, you know, it can be actually in some approaches, it truly is a two-part project. It can be the two the kind of the in-particular person exhibition and also the social media account. I imagine a great deal of the people that I have who’ve turn into intrigued in it are people today who are connected with the flags or free of charge little art galleries that are form of all in excess of the put. People today who really like miniature art. There is certainly also people who are community. And so, it is really form of a couple of diverse groups of men and women that are discovering to be intrigued in it. And some of the artists who have achieved out to me are individuals who are just sort of fascinated in exploring a thing, doing work on a scaled-down scale, or who always get the job done on a tiny scale. And, you know, it happens to be anything that they are interested in.

Omari Hurry:  Perfectly, Joe, I cannot wait around right up until you curate an Ann Arbor pageant of small galleries that persons are just walking all-around. It’s possible courting individuals on your block initially. The Crescents will be the art place. It appears wonderful.


Joe Levickas: Properly, I take pleasure in that. I’ve experienced people say, “Oh, we want one particular in our entrance garden or we want it in our cul de sac.” And I’m pondering, “Let me permit me perform on this one particular very first, and then we’ll see no matter whether we are going to broaden the scope and incorporate much more.

Lisa Barry: Joe Levickas, we will put images of the Creal Micro Gallery and links to your Instagram web site on our internet site, WEMU dot org. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And, Omari Rush, often great to converse to you.

Omari Hurry: Also. Lisa.

Joe Levickas: Thank you so significantly. 



**Exclusive many thanks to Paul Keller for delivering the Artwork & Soul concept music.**

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Factors Regarded on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or e-mail her at [email protected]

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