The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia

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Tiny Doors Around Town

Scattered+throughout+the+city%2C+tiny+doors+can+be+found+to+mimic+larger+doors%2C+like+a+King+Of+Pops+stand+in+Inman+Park.+
Scattered throughout the city, tiny doors can be found to mimic larger doors, like a King Of Pops stand in Inman Park.

Scattered throughout the city, tiny doors can be found to mimic larger doors, like a King Of Pops stand in Inman Park.

Kiki Soto

Kiki Soto

Scattered throughout the city, tiny doors can be found to mimic larger doors, like a King Of Pops stand in Inman Park.

Kiki Soto, Writer

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Tiny Doors Atlanta is miniature public art that can be found all over the city. Karen Anderson, the principal artist and director of Tiny Doors ATL, creates the 6-inch tall doors. Since the summer of 2004, Anderson has scattered eleven doors throughout Atlanta. The doors have gained most of their popularity from being displayed along the Beltline.

The origin of the project dates back to when Anderson graduated from Art School at Rutgers University and was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“In Ann Arbor there are fairy doors and I started seeing them in my 20’s,”  said Anderson. “I saw the way the fairy doors interacted with the community and I have always really loved street art.”

Anderson realized she wanted to do something in Atlanta that connected communities. The first Tiny Door ATL was installed on an outside column of Krog Street Tunnel in July 2014.

“I wasn’t trying to start a movement, I just wanted to join the conversation,” said Anderson.

Anderson says she has “always being interested in the power of small things”. When she was a kid she always loved miniature toys, and threw away all her doll house furniture just to construct her own.  

Anderson and her volunteers spend a good chunk of time envisioning the new door before any of the building takes place. Each tiny door is given specific consideration as Anderson’s team decides what feature fit best for the location.   

“The doors only go places they are invited,” said Anderson. “I don’t go around Atlanta looking for places to put a door.”

Using their website, people can request ideas or give locations where they would like to see the next door. Then, Anderson will spend a lot of time getting to know that area, trying to figure out how to make a door that is unique to that neighborhood.

“The new door is going on the West Side, so for the past few months I’ve been there speaking at the local schools and getting opinions from children.”

The fun part comes with the actual creation of the door. Anderson and her team work on sketches and collaborating with their carpenter that makes custom pieces for each door. The actual doors you see around town are molds of the wood that the carpenter makes, in order for them to be more durable and to last longer. Next, the door can be painted, frilled-up, and set-up at its new home. The doors are then set with cement or chalk insuring their stay through the thick and thin of Atlanta weather.

Only one door truly opens up, door ten in Grant Park. This opening door however only opens to the stump of a tree. The mission of these doors is to evoke imagination and Anderson believes opening the door to reveal somethings can stunt that thinking.

“I can make the doors open, “ said Anderson. “I just choose not to, because most of the time it is not going to lead you to anything more powerful than your imagination. “

The public Tiny Doors ATL doors are free to the community. However, Anderson does private commissions with businesses around town, such as Marriott and Mailchimp.

With nearly fifty-six thousand instagram followers and twelve thousand posts using the hashtag Tiny Doors ATL, social media has expanded the popularity of Tiny Doors Atlanta making it symbolic The Beltline. Tiny Doors ATL is on a mission to bring imagination to all ages in happening places around Atlanta.

“To me the most special part is creating a blank canvas for people’s imagination,” said Anderson. “It’s all about the power of imagination.

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The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia