Local artists sell 'Little Things' for the holidays at Swan Coach House Gallery

"Little Things" is on view at Swan Coach House Gallery through Jan. 5. (Courtesy of Jacob O’Kelley)

Every winter holiday season at the Swan Coach House Gallery, walls and display cases are filled with artworks on a small scale. The popular annual showcase “Little Things” returns with small works in every medium you can think of, made by over 70 artists from Georgia and the Southeast. Their art is on view and for sale through Jan. 5. Curator and Swan Coach House Gallery creative director Jacob O’Kelley joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk more about the exhibition.

A co-curated effort between O’Kelley and Maria Bruckman, this year’s “Little Things” includes paintings, drawings, prints, ceramic, metal sculpting, woodwork, and more. The 20-year-strong showcase will feature many returning artists from previous years and newcomers. The curators hand-picked the artists rather than competing in a pool of applicants. O’Kelley explained, “We have lists and lists of artists that have participated over the years. We pick a few from that, and then we go out and visit various arts centers, like Chastain or Abernathy, and then it’s also word of mouth, people you know, shows that we go see.”

Though the tiny marvels on display number far too many to do justice here, stand-outs include the still-life floral photography by Brooke Reid (easily mistaken for paintings by Dutch Masters), atmospheric paintings of shadowy figures, and strangely melancholy desserts by Calvin Jones, captivating cut paper designs by Claude Gerard, charmingly abstracted beachside nudes in drawings by Nancy Summerall, and countless more.

“In the sculpture section, I really love Allen Quandee‘s pieces,” said O’Kelley. “They’re woodworking – he uses some pieces with malachite inlay and resin. Another artist that really stood out was Morgan Lugo, who does metalworking. Her pieces reference the peach for Atlanta and the meme with finding chicken wings on the ground – I think that that’s really funny.”

Another eye-catching achievement in sculpture comes from Jeff Repko, who presents a series of interlocking geometric “modules.” “He creates these little sculptures that stand up by themselves, and they have all of these little pieces that, I believe, he glues together, and they can actually, if you buy multiple ones, they can connect together to build a larger sculpture, which is kind of cool,” said O’Kelley. “He also makes large-scale versions of these out of metal for public art.”

The online artists’ market is a significant component of every “Little Things” exhibition season, where all featured pieces are available for purchase. Pieces are categorized as “2D” or “3D” and cataloged with images and pricing. With the success of the “Little Things” show and online shop, scores of local artists gain recognition and funding to make their ongoing work possible. “You’re pulling artists from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of different art scenes in Atlanta, and I think it brings a lot of community together, especially at the openings,” said O’Kelley. “It gives an opportunity for artists to sell their work to collectors at a more affordable price, and it’s a large shopping event for the holidays, so people can find pretty reasonable gifts for the holidays.”

“Little Things” is on view in-person at Swan Coach House Gallery through Jan. 5, and pieces are available to peruse and purchase at https://www.swangallery.org/.