Haynes Galleries presents “A Treasure Trove of Small Things”
November 22 to December 21, 2013
Reception: Friday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. November 22, 2013

NASHVILLE — At Haynes Galleries, small things are a big deal. Just in time for the holidays, Haynes Galleries presents “A Treasure Trove of Small Things.” This show — a dazzling assortment of still lifes, portraits and landscapes from some of the gallery’s most celebrated artists — proves that even the smallest pieces can make a huge impact. The show runs from Nov. 22 through Dec. 21 at Haynes Galleries on the historic Music Row Roundabout. An opening reception will take place 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22. The event is free and open to the public.

“Jewels come in small packages and so can great art,” says gallery owner Gary R. Haynes. “One of my favorite pieces is a small portrait by Carolus-Duran and it is only 6 x 8 inches but something I treasure. This show will feature small works from some of the country’s most distinguished contemporary realists.”

In many ways, it’s like a Christmas stocking filled with fun, little gifts that often eclipse the larger presents under the tree.

Take, for example, Gail Wegodsky's Gummy Gators. Yes, this is a painting of gummy alligator candy, and yes, it is fabulous. Beneath the whimsy of Wegodsky's subject lies the skill of a classically trained, award-winning artist. The same could be said of Michael Theise’s trompe l’oeil Key Notes, which depicts a key beside a stack of $20 bills. His titles may be tongue-in-cheek, but his approach to art is utterly serious — it is his desire to push the genre to its limit. In Tin Motorcycle, Philip Michelson takes a playful subject and renders it exquisitely.

The more traditional still lifes speak to the bounty — and the beauty — of the season. Plump roses spill their petals onto a tabletop. A brioche and a red teapot warm the soul. A silver tureen sits, laden with ripe peaches.

The figurative work in this show may be small, but its size belies its mastery. Among the highlights is the evocative The Find by master realist Joseph Todorovitch, who aims to suggest mood and only subtly imply a narrative within his works.

Another treat is the sun-dappled oil Summer Hat by Burton Silverman, one of the founders of the Portrait Society of America. “Each painting is a discovery,” Silverman says.

In this show, so too is each sculpture. Jane Posing, the graceful bronze by Daniel Sinclair, reveals his technical prowess. After earning his MFA from Pratt Institute, Sinclair spent five years under the tutelage of Italian stone carver Pasquino Pasquini, an experience that shaped his approach to the craft.

This commitment to craft is equally evident in the landscapes in this show — each an invitation to explore new worlds. In the starkly poetic Winter Landscape by 19th century American Impressionist Emile Gruppe, a lone, snow-covered path beckons viewers to journey into the barren forest. Painted more than a century later, Zoey Frank’s Field has a similar allure — a rutted road draws the eye and the imagination through a meadow to misty mountains beyond.

Cindy House’s Maine Islands depicts the landscape in such exquisite detail that viewers can almost taste the salt spray, smell the seaweed and hear the cry of gulls on the rocky shores. Inspired by Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, the plein air painter Bennett Vadnais imbues his seascape Rocks at High Tide #1 with light and atmosphere. There is a sense of timelessness and immediacy to his work that captivates.

Each piece in this show is a celebration of American Realism — a treasured gift waiting to be unwrapped. Though the works may be small, each reflects great abundance and joy of the holiday season.