Student Newsroom

Tiny Art Show brings literature-inspired art to Champaign County


People view artwork March 25 in The Literary book store during its “Tiny Art Show” in downtown Champaign. Remington Rock, general manager of The Literary, said the art will be on sale until April 16. Photo by Piotr Fedczuk

Locally made artworks lined the walls of The Literary on March 25, each one less than six inches tall and six inches wide. 

The artwork was part of the bookstore/cafe’s “Tiny Art Show,” which will be on display until April 16. The event centered around the theme of artists’ favorite books.

Remington Rock, general manager of The Literary, organized the event.

“I just thought it would be really fun to do something kind of a little whimsical,” Rock said. “But I also wanted to tie in the sort of bookstore literary part of it.”

Rock said The Literary has limited wall space, which was why she set a size restriction on the artworks.

“I wanted to be able to accommodate, really, as many people as we could,” Rock said. “If we did no boundaries on what size it could be, who knows what we would have gotten.”

Every art piece had to go on the wall, Rock said, which meant the artworks had to be on paper or canvas. However, she was still surprised by the creativity in every piece, she said.

“People really took the time and put effort into this,” Rock said. “It was just so nice to see because all the pieces are fantastic.”

The art show received 47 submissions, Rock said. Some people submitted multiple pieces, she said, while others made art with their entire family.

“I thought, you know, I would take five [artworks], and I think that would be a great launch,” she said. “But I was very, very happy to see how many submissions we had. It was a great turnout for just a little idea.”

Underneath each artwork is a plaque bearing the artist’s name and contact information, if the work is on sale. 

Annika Downey, an Urbana artist, submitted a piece themed around “The Lord of the Rings.”

Downey’s piece was labeled “not for sale.”

“I got really attached to it to be frank,” she said. “This was my first completed oil painting that I did.”

Downey entered the show with her sister, she said, who also made an artwork inspired by “The Lord of the Rings.” 

Throughout the event, Downey took photographs of other artworks on the wall.

“(Looking at other art pieces) is such a delight,” Downey said. “I was so curious to see what everyone would do.”

The Literary partnered with 40 North, Champaign County’s arts council, to include the “Tiny Art Show” in the Boneyard Arts Festival. The festival will begin on  April 14 and feature artists in more than 70 stores across Champaign County.

The Boneyard Arts Festival will end on April 16, along with The Literary’s display of its Tiny Art Show.