Hit the (tiny) bricks to help build Tiny Doors ATL

Great news for those of us who can’t paint, sculpt or contort our bodies into modern dance pretzel-ish positions: Now, we, too, can make our mark on Atlanta’s wildly creative public arts scene.

OK, so they’ll be teeny-weeny marks … but that’s the whole point of Tiny Doors ATL’s tiny bricks crowdfunding campaign. For, um, as little as $25, you can purchase a pint-sized engraved brick to go along with the group’s next pint-sized door that’s slated to rise proudly — and petitely — in Cabbagetown in December.

The goal is to raise $11,000 for ongoing maintenance of the doors. And some big weapons are being deployed in the process — a video with music by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and a one-time-only chance to snag a custom-made tiny door for your home or a local school donated in your name (that’ll cost you $1,500).

Tiny Doors ATL is the somewhat mysterious, insanely clever public art collective that creates doors which stand approximately 10 inches high and turn up in the most unexpected places: Alongside the Beltline opposite Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. Inset in a graffiti-tagged pillar of the Krog Street Tunnel. Nestled within the bark of a tree on the PATH Trail near the Carter Center (read an earlier AJC story about one of their furtive, late-night installations).

The artistry of the doors has, in turn, inspired others to accessorize them (often anonymously) with things like tiny “delivered” newspapers and little fliers posted on a little bulletin board beside the door outside Inman Park Pet Works.

Still, this fundraising campaign promises to produce the most different look yet: A tiny plaza of sorts surrounding the door, where contributors’ names or messages (anything that can be expressed in up to 10 tiny engraved letters), will permanently live on. There are special package deals for multiple brick purchases.

A whimsical twist on the well-known buy-a-brick fundraising technique, the monthlong campaign will also help solve a problem that’s arisen from the doors’ unforeseen popularity. Like many public art projects, they tend to be uniquely “loved” by the public at times: People touch them, practically climb on them to take selfies and sometimes add their own graffiti or messages. Throw in the usual wear and tear of weather and exhaust fumes that comes from being outdoors (except for one inside Little Shop of Stories in Decatur), and the all-volunteer Tiny Doors ATL crew of artists have had to add “tiny maintenance worker” to their resumes.

“We spend 10-15 hours a week maintaining and cleaning the doors and making them photo-ready,” said Tiny Doors ATL director Karen Anderson. “The funds we raise will go toward maintaining and upgrading the (stability of) the doors.”

You can check out all seven existing doors (plus three temporary ones that are part of Art on the Atlanta Beltline) online at www.tinydoorsatl.com. That’s also where to see the new video, which is sort of a one-stop tour of the doors and the tiny bricks campaign that features that soundtrack by Saliers, a friend of Anderson’s and the tiny doors idea.

The campaign runs through Oct. 31. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised nearly 21 percent of its goal. To buy a brick and find out more about the fundraising campaign, go to https://c4atlanta.org/tiny-doors-atl.

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