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Miniature exhibit on at Squamish's Foyer Gallery

Artist Maureen Ryan's 'Stuck in our Little Homes' on until April 12.
More than ever this past year, home has become the setting for the movie of our lives. 

As the March 11 one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic approaches, Squamish artist Maureen Ryan's pieces reflecting on home are on display at the Foyer Gallery

Each of the nine scenes (or floors) in the 'Stuck in our Little Homes,' exhibit depicts life in Ryan's imaginary home in shocking and delicious detail.

There are teeny-tiny records to play on the teeny-tiny record player. Nearby are a tiny, life-like fan and a gumball machine.  

"The record room is probably my favourite," Ryan told The Chief. "My son found the mini-record player at London Drugs. It is actually a keychain, and the record player actually works."

Ryan has a life-sized record player herself and is into vinyl records, so she said the scene means a lot to her. 

In the kitchen scene, there is bread to be sliced on a cutting board with a to-scale miniature knife nearby.

For the bedroom scene, there’s a big-screen TV, “because that is usually what we are doing,” Ryan said, adding there’s likewise a Monopoly table and cards.

Every little piece has been carefully and — usually— handcrafted and positioned.

Ryan said she changed around the furniture in the living room multiple times until it felt just right for the show.

"Until I was like, 'We have to decide,'" she said with a laugh. 

After getting word there was an opening at the gallery, which is at the entrance to the Squamish Public Library, Ryan pulled the exhibit together in five weeks. 

"My living room and dining room and tables were just full of miniatures, just trying to get all these scenes done," she said, adding her 13-year-old son and husband are very supportive of her work. 

The floors in every room are custom made, with a little family help, she said. 

"It was kind of a fun exploration. It is fun when you are being creative and things come together," she said. 

The exhibit also features a Treasure Hunt for kids, or kids at heart, to find all the miniature items listed. 

Ryan said she has always been into miniatures. 

"We moved to Ottawa when I think I was four years old, and there was a dollhouse place that I would go by and go 'Oh, my God!' I was always into it," she said. 

She has had miniature exhibits previously, including at the Foyer Gallery. 

Wherever she goes, she is thinking of things she could repurpose for her scenes. 

While she has said some of the pieces on display — like the teddy bears — are too precious for her to part with, she is open to other scenes being purchased. 

For her next artistic endeavour, she has a dollhouse that she wants to make into a Hampton-style house.

"Next to the beach, and it would be surf-board, modern," she said. "Miniatures are never going to end for me." 

Also on display at the gallery is Marion-Lea Jamieson's oil paintings, 'ab'strakt: existing as an idea.'

These shows are on at the Foyer Gallery in the Squamish Public Library until April 12 from Monday to Friday 1 to 4 p.m.

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