Tiny Arts and Letters

Tiny Tiny Arts and Letters is a project space and small works gallery that shows the creative work of writers and artists.  

Tiny Arts and Letters explores the intersection of image and text. It celebrates the small, the concentrated: micro essays and flash fiction, prints and poems, etchings, sketches, illustrations, sculpture and painting are some of the works we feature in the space. 

We have exhibits of bookplates, book cover art and design as well as installations on the history of printing and typography.  Each exhibition includes a tiny interview and information about the artist or writer’s work.  

The micro gallery is located in the common space on the third floor of Pearsons.  For information about submitting your work or proposing an exhibit, contact Jo Van Arkel at

November Exhibit: Character Sketches by Marian Stahl Chamberlain

Marian Stahl Chamberlain’s artistry comes through her affinity for line.  Her Tiny Arts and Letters Show:  Character Sketches: Small Portraits in Graphite, captures the essence of a community of people through fine marks and gestures.

TA&L:  Tell us something about your process.  How do you create such precise and expressive portraits?

I have always enjoyed drawing, especially portraits. Typically I start off with a rough sketch that is a hybrid of contour drawing and mapping. This allows me to get the general placement of the features, yet retain some spontaneity to my lines and the overall design.  I then go back over the drawing, keeping my pencil as sharp as possible to keep the detail. If the drawing flows, I tend to be happier with it.

I usually get a feel for the person by looking at their facial features - The contours of their mouth, the shape of their eyes. I believe that our lives shape how we mature, and how our features change, and that you can often get a feel for a person by studying their face.

TA&L:  With this show, you concentrate on Drury professors.  You are a Drury graduate.  What do you recall about your experience at Drury and your relationships with your professors?

I was moved to create this collection because of my past educational experiences with Drury University and my fondness for the faculty and staff. Drury professors were always more than just professors to me - they were mentors and friends. I have immensely enjoyed creating these likenesses.  There is something special about having professors who combined knowledge with a personal interest in their students. 

Bio and Artist Statement: Marian Stahl Chamberlain

Originally from the Springfield Missouri area, my work has been influenced by a strong personal drive, an art and art history based education, my experiences as an educator and my personal experiences residing in other states. I work in printmaking, pastel, graphite, and watercolor, as well as in a variety of other media. My portraits, printmaking, watercolors, pastels, drawings, murals, and other work can be found across the United States from Florida to New Jersey to the west coast. I am a member of Fresh Gallery, the Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild, Best of Missouri Hands, and the Springfield Regional Arts Council. I hold a BA in Studio Art and Art History, and a ME in Art Education, both from Drury University.

October Exhibit:  A Sense of Place

A Mike Myers painting takes the ordinary moment, like a view of buildings across the street, and turns it into a meditation of line and color.   

Like other small works, there is more to his paintings than a small, simple rendering.  He captures a sense of place, an essence, and because he helps us see through the eyes of an artist, he makes the ordinary and commonplace extraordinary and new.  

Mike puts particular care into each work.  He cuts the wood and builds each frame by hand as a part of his artistic practice.

Mike Myers has a BFA from Missouri State University. His works have appeared in numerous area shows including Fresh Gallery where he is a member.

TA&L: Why are you drawn to the small format with your work?

MM:  I hadn't painted for many years when I started painting again about four years ago! I didn't want to invest many hours of time in a large painting so I decided I would start out small.  I spend four to eight hours on a painting and move on. My intention was to get the paint flowing and get back into the mindset of creating art again. The place I started out painting in was the kitchen table so small paintings fit into my workspace as well. When I started showing my work to the public, people stated they really liked the size. So for now that is how I roll!

TA & L:  What do you want people to know about the moments and places you capture in your paintings?

MM:  The places I paint have somehow caught my eye. Sometimes it is a place I interact with such as Casper's. I have had many bowls of chili there over the decades. It just seemed like I should include it in my art!  

My personal experience with a place attracts me to do a painting.  Everyone has "landmarks" they know and refer to, and they don't really know why.  These "landmarks" are places that have caught my eye for no other reason than visual. So I try to capture that in a painting.