There we were, adventuring around town, keeping our eyes peeled for curiosities when, well… we found one. Not just our average curiosity – like a really epic, piping hot cup of chai, secret spot, or place where we can really hit the daily grind – but, like, a real little bit of adventure, right here in the A. What was it? A tiny door. More specifically, an adorable little door on the Krog Street Tunnel. Where did it come from? Who put it there? Most importantly – where would it lead us? So we decided to put on our sleuthing hats and figure out what’s going on behind those doors. (As in, who makes them. We still haven’t quite figured out what’s actually behind ‘em. But behind the Krog Street Door we like to imagine that there’s an alternative dimension where David the Gnome is a street artist.)
Turns out Tiny Doors is a collective effort by some mighty fine folks who are equally as passionate about public art as they are whimsy. We decided to ask them a few questions about their efforts. Here’s what we found out.
Scout: What prompted you to launch the tiny doors effort?
Collective art creates an opportunity to interrupt the day as usual. One of our founding members is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan where small "fairy doors" are an attraction all over town. People in Ann Arbor leave trinkets and offerings for the fairies. At our first meeting we decided to create a movement that felt more organically Atlanta and have the doors be called simply "tiny doors" leaving room for people to imagine any number of reasons for their existence. We want to create a project in which anyone can participate, separately from our founding members. People can view the doors, upload a picture to social media with #TinyDoorsATL, add an item to the installment (today a tiny newspaper arrived on the doorstep of the Krog Street door!), or create their own door.
Scout: Can you tell us a little bit about your mission?
TinyDoorsATL is an artist collective whose mission is to bring big wonder to tiny spaces. Our constantly evolving installation pieces are an interactive part of their community. With the installation of a door, what was once a wall or the column of a bridge becomes an entrance to collective creativity and an invitation to whimsy.
Scout: What prompted you to lead with Krog Street?
The Krog Street tunnel embodies so much of what we believe about collective art. The walls of the tunnel aren't just for muralists and taggers, but are also a conversation between all kinds of artists. We are asking people to imagine and join in with us. We supported the recent blanching of the tunnel, covering our door to camouflage it from the gaze of paid party goers. We are committed to TinyDoorsATL as free, participatory, collective art. What better place to start?
Scout: What do you imagine is on the other side of the tiny door?
We imagine there's a teeny tiny artist working on tiny graffiti art in her itsy bitsy studio....and maybe she has a cat. But it's not really about what we imagine. What do you think is behind the door?
Scout: How do you determine where the door will be installed?
We are looking for high-traffic areas where people typically zoom past, without stopping to look around. We are also looking for places where the community is likely to appreciate the door by taking a picture or adding to it in some way. A tiny door instantly creates a much deeper space and a visual point of interest. When installing a door we bring a mock up of the door with us to an already-scouted space. Collectively, we visualize the qualities of the installed door and decide where the door would have the most impact. With attention neighborhood we're in, we also imagine what kind of person would live behind the door. We imagined an artist lives behind the door of the Krog Street Tunnel. Her door would probably be focused on function over design and would probably be a bit beat up, whereas a door in another area of town might be more ornate. The Krog Street Tunnel door has a kick plate. A door in another area might have a crystal knob. The tiny door is an invitation to interact with installment art. We seek, then, to install doors in communities that will appreciate the door.
Scout: What other doors do you have in the works?
We have a few doors in the works, but we won't tell you where they are going! Part of the wonder is the surprise of the find. That said, we are also accepting nominations for doors to be installed in 2015! If you have a wall that you think would be perfect for a tiny door contact us at TinyDoorsATL@gmail.com! We will work with your ideas to create a door that enhances your space. We heavily prioritize high-traffic locations where the owner invites the installation. Our collective is both formally and informally trained, so we have lots of flexibility with materials and style.
What to keep up with the Tiny Doors effort (just in case one of them leads to Narnia)? Follow them on Facebook. Spot one when you're out scouting? Make sure to tag them with #tinydoorsatl. Speaking of which – you didn’t hear it from us, but word on the street is the next door may just pop up in Inman Park. Keep your eyes peeled, dear Scouts!