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There's pocket-sized art on display at this Olympia gallery

Annual exhibition attracts artists and amateurs to raise money for the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery. #k5evening

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A fallen leaf. A fleeting fog. These are the images of life in motion. 

"A lot of work and a lot of profound statements," said Sean Barnes, director of the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery.

Every year here at South Puget Sound Community College, artists tackle a very big idea on a very small canvas.

Barnes said, "What does the theme point to?  How can I bend that theme a little bit?"

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Barnes serves as curator of the annual Fine Art Postcard Exhibition, a collection of works from local artists and amateurs.

"To showcase and highlight our creative community," he said.

Every image is required to fit in a four-by-six-inch space.

"We allow 3-dimensional work to be within six by six by six inches," he added.

Each piece adheres to a theme. This year it's 'Leave No Trace.'

One photo depicts a wave washing away a dog's pawprint. A painting shows a woman taking out the trash. The trash bag is labeled '2020.'

"Some pieces can be super-impactful and be very tiny," Barnes said.

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One artist, C.J. Dosch, is also a beekeeper. 

"His piece is a collection of dead bees and a piece of honeycomb, so it touches on the theme of 'Leave No Trace' and it's environmental," Barnes said. "There is a certain beauty and irony in death and absence. And so I really appreciate that work."

Many of the featured artists, including Barnes himself, find that the smaller scale helps sharpen their message.

"It limits me," he said, "which I think is good for all artists to limit their palette at some point, to focus on content and making."

You can visit this year's exhibition in person (no appointment necessary) or you can visit online, where you can place bids on the work and help support the gallery. Maybe next year's theme will be all about starting anew. Barnes is hopeful.

"We'll be able to get together again and celebrate in-person."

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