Artists bring tiny fairy houses to life on Open Space grounds

Ten Vashon artists have created tiny fairy houses tucked among the trees in the Douglas fir grove at the arts center.

This spring, Open Space for Arts & Community teamed up with Vashon MakerSpace to commission makers, dreamers, artists and craftspeople to create a new artistic experience: a village of intricate fairy houses for all to enjoy.

The outdoor exhibit opens to the public at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, on the grounds of Open Space.

“Look Closely: The Tiny Fairy House Project,” the latests effort in Open Space’s !Attention! Artists at Work initiative (AAW), brought together 10 Vashon artists to create tiny fairy houses tucked among the trees in the Douglas fir grove at the arts center.

After months of designing and crafting the elements of each fairy house, the artists have installed the fairy houses into a permanent village at Open Space.

Janet McAlpin, an executive producer at Open Space for Arts & Community, explained the inspiration for the project.

“In the deep dark of winter and the Omicron surge, while walking in the woods, searching for solace, hope, and inspiration, I saw in my mind’s eye a grove of elaborate tiny fairy houses,” she said. “At first I rejected the idea as a project, as it has been done many times, in many different places. Then I realized that at this moment, heading into the third year of the pandemic …. people need art, imagination, dreams, and hope. Now. And I realized that this AAW project would be a perfect avenue to bring art, artists, and the Vashon community all together to experience joy, hope, and wonder by ‘looking closely.’”

Two years ago, Open Space for Arts & Community launched AAW to hire artists who were financially impacted by the economic landscape of COVID-19, and to share public art at no charge with the Vashon community. For The Tiny Fairy House Project, Vashon MakerSpace teamed with Open Space to provide artists with building resources and encouragement.

Thanks to generous donations from the community, Open Space has now commissioned more than 60 Vashon artists and artisans to make free public art as part of the AAW program.

Previous AAW projects include The Distance Dance Project; The Mural Project, which is available to view online and at Open Space; The Literary Project, which is still available online and via podcast; and Creating Your Story, a workshop for teens led by performing artists in partnership with the UMO School.

“Look Closely: The Tiny Fairy House Project” is free and open to the public, though donations to Open Space are welcomed.

Visit OpenSpace to learn more.