The power and possibility of small is the launching point for exploration into Gallery 621’s first juried exhibition. Microcosmos opens Thursday, Oct. 29 at Gallery 621, at 309 First St. in downtown Benicia.

All 133 art pieces are, indeed, small. “Each one is under 12 inches by 12 inches, and some are much smaller,” Gallery 621 member Nikki Basch-Davis said. “It’s a world in small dimension. Some 396 artists from 30 states submitted work for consideration. Of the 133 pieces of art chosen, 11 are by Benicia artists.”


Such a large representation of Benicia artists in the exhibit “shows our community is of a high level artistically,” says Basch-Davis. Other artists in the show come from New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Missouri, Ohio and other states, as well as from the Bay Area and various parts of California.

The tiny treasure troves of art will open up new worlds of exploration for viewers, says Basch-Davis. “Further, as many in the art world encourage and promote large paintings and sculptures, Microcosmos will showcase the special world of small-sized art. This is art that can gently whisper or boldly shout. Sometimes less is more. That is true about all forms of art.”

Microcosmos features a wide range of media in both 2D and 3D formats, including sculpture, photography, collage, prints, painting, and mixed media. The show will be on display through Nov. 29, with an artists’ reception held 5-9pm Saturday, Nov. 14, at the gallery. In addition, a panel discussion with five artists takes place 6-9pm Thursday, Nov. 19 in the gallery.

Those five artists include Mark Eanes, Kari Brinck, Anthony Riggs, Chris Mead and Suzanne Long. The panel will be led by Arts Benicia Executive Director Celeste Smeland. The juror for Microcosmos is Chester Arnold, a professor at the College of Marin. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries throughout the country and are found in public collections of such institutions as the Smithsonian and American Art Museum.  Most recently, Arnold curated “The Intimate Diebenkorn,” a selection of Richard Diebenkorn’s works on paper, at the Sonoma Museum of Art.

Photos, left: California Landscape 3 by Sylvia Wuensche-Wienands, middle, Creaole Garden Goblet by Jean-Donegan, right, Sunset on Chestnut by Sabine Reindel

Gallery 621 is located at 309 First St., in Benicia and is open noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For more details visit or call 707-297-6860.