ATLANTA, Ga. - Tiny Doors ATL is a labor of love.
Karen Anderson is the vision behind Tiny Doors ATL. Karen graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Visual Art in 2013 and quickly moved to Atlanta. After spending a year living, working and volunteering, Karen knew that she wanted to start a public art project. “I had a hunch that tiny doors might spark interest in the community.”
Karen and master crafter Sarah Meng installed the first door together, and over the last year and half, nearly a dozen more people have joined the Tiny team. From journalists, to graphic designers, to lawyers, Karen said that she is truly fortunate to attract such great people!
"Tiny Doors" was named to keep as much space as possible open to the imagination. By not telling you who lives there, people are encouraged to use their imaginations and decide for themselves! The original vision was to bring big wonder to tiny spaces, and join in the greater conversation of public art in Atlanta. Since then, the mission has evolved to include tying together neighborhoods in Atlanta and encouraging community exploration.
The public installation project will stick around for as long as the people of Atlanta show interest and support. Tiny Doors ATL install doors slowly and deliberately, taking time to consider each unique neighborhood. “We are far more interested in creating a sustainable project that is true to its mission than hurriedly placing doors around town,” said Anderson.
Once a location has been established the team starts planning the door. “How will the door reflect its environment? What would help it to interact with the neighborhood? Who would live there and how can the door feel accessible to everyone? We also think about the weather and foot traffic,” said Anderson.
The doors are created from wood and other materials and sent off to the Tiny Team’s mold maker Rachel De Urioste who casts the doors in hard, durable resin. The doors come back to the tiny studio where they are painted, hardware is added, and it is installed.
Tiny Doors ATL hosts a ribbon-cutting for every numbered door. Everyone is invited to come and see the door and mingle with one another. The next ribbon cutting is this Thursday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. It will be outside King of Pops world headquarters in Inman Park!
Once a door is installed it is on weekly (sometimes daily when it’s high-traffic season) maintenance route. It’s a commitment they factor into the door from the beginning. Some doors endure more missing knobs and chipped paint than others, but they all get dirty!
“I have to say all the doors are my favorite and they really are, for different reasons. Door #1 on the Krog Street Tunnel will always be special to me because it’s where Tiny Doors ATL started. I wanted to join in the conversation between artists that happens in the tunnel, and through the community’s positive response we ended up in a much larger conversation with people all over Atlanta!”
The doors can be found in Inman Park, Little Five Points, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, Decatur, and the Old Fourth Ward. Stay tuned! They are moving into two new neighborhoods this year!
Each door has its own way of interacting with the community. The Inman Park Pet works door, for instance, has a tiny bulletin board where people leave tiny postings and notes. Karen and her team love seeing this kind of exchange! All of the doors are used in #fafatl drops, where people leave free art for others to claim. People from all over spend the day searching for all of the doors, or just happen upon one and snap a photo. The instagram hashtag #tinydoorsatl has over 5,000 posts.
Karen and her team spend over 30 hours a week on the project, and it has opened doors for her (pun fully intended) that she never could have imagined at the start! “As an Artist this project combines my interests in public art and scale, and the community support makes the project incredibly rewarding.”
“I can't imagine a more fun and dynamic way to get to know Atlanta. I had only been in town a year when this project began, is has given me an in-depth look into Atlanta's the unique neighborhoods and incredible art scene. I am so grateful!”