The walls of Liberty Tree Elementary School are filled with student art -- and even when you think you've seen it all, you probably haven't.
Liberty Tree art teacher Jonathan Juravich has installed an exhibition of "tiny art" at the school. The three minuscule "galleries" -- complete with pint-sized people contemplating the art -- are hiding in plain sight and continue to be discovered by students, staff and visitors, he said.
"It takes both kids and adults a while to find them," Juravich said, explaining he does not announce when or where exhibits are being installed.
"We move through life so quickly, and we know exactly where we're going, so very often we don't notice things that aren't in our direct line of sight," Juravich said.
The exhibitions feature replicas of student artwork that's also hanging on the school's walls. Using Photoshop, Juravich re-created the works in miniature.
Current "tiny art" exhibitions include replicas of third-grade students' collages, kindergartners' abstract art and fifth-graders' blind contours.
It was the fifth-grade project that helped inspire Juravich's idea to shrink down the pieces.
"We were talking about looking, about noticing, as a practice with the fifth grade," Juravich said. "This is a fun way to start a great conversation about furthering our awareness. It's something we all need, including me."
The concept also was inspired by the Instagram page "tiny art show" and by Columbus artist Stephanie Rond's S. Dot Gallery, a dollhouse for which the artist curates other artists in making miniature work to hang on the house's walls.
"It's hard to have the kids make art that's that small," Juravich said. "I needed another way, and one morning it just hit me to see if I could reduce and reproduce it."
After first posting the tiny exhibition to the "LibertyTreeArt" Instagram page, word started leaking out that the miniature art was real.
"I wanted students to find out on their own and just let the word spread organically," Juravich said. "It's fun when they come to me to say they found it. It's really fun when they tell me 'You picked my art!'
"Some of them think it's better that their actual work, and they're always super-proud of their normal-sized work," Juravich said with a laugh. "I think kids just like things that are tiny."
Juravich, who was the Ohio Department of Education's 2018 Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year finalist, said he intends to have every student represented in "tiny art" by the end of the school year, regularly adding more "galleries" as the year progresses and culminating in a companion exhibition to the year-end Student Art Show at the school.
With each additional mini-gallery, he'll continue to be tight-lipped about the location and timing.
"It's a new way to engage with and think about artwork and our environment," Juravich said.
"And let's face it: It's just fun."