Hi! Thanks for your interest in Tiny Doors ATL. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the project.
Do they open?
At this moment the only door which opens is Door #10E in Grant Park. One of primary goals in creating the doors is fostering a sense of wonder in people of all ages. We’ve found that opening the door to see a wall, or even a small scene tends to answer the questions your imagination is asking. And isn’t the question the fun part? That said, if you’ve really gotta open one, the tree door is pretty satisfying.
How do you decide where to put a door?
Without question, all of our numbered locations are public, all ages, and free to visit. After that, we think about a number of factors. We consider the neighborhood and value locations that are super pedestrian friendly. We like our doors to be more or less within biking distance of one another so you and your crew could take a tiny door day tour. We prefer locations where there is an existing conversation between artists. The Krog Street Tunnel and the BeltLine are prime examples of locations where artists are talking to one another.
How do you make the doors?
Here’s the long answer. Are you ready?
Selecting a location. Folks let us know they’re interested in a door. Some groups have a specific place in mind and some ask us to collaborate with selecting a space. Trees Atlanta, for example, knew they wanted a door in a tree but wanted the particular tree to be a collaborative decision. When selecting a location, we think about you. What’s your running route? Where do you walk with your kids on a Saturday afternoon? What patch of sidewalk has been forgotten on your way to pick up a bag of dog food? We also think about the neighborhood. How will the door reflect its environment? What would help the door interact with the community? Who would live behind the door? We also think about the weather and foot traffic. Most importantly, we are absolutely committed to installing the doors in places that are free to visit and accessible to as many people as possible. You will never have to pay to see one of our doors. Public art is for everyone.
Visioning. We spend a good chunk of time envisioning the new door. What’s the pattern of rain like in this location? Maybe we’ll need a tiny roof. Is the ground going to get wet here? Perhaps we’ll need a stoop to protect the bottom of the door. What are the colors of the existing landscape? We want the door to be hidden in plain site, which means attention to fit within the location. A door with tiny graffiti on it is perfect for Krog Street, but would have been weird in front of Inman Park Pet Works. We also talk to folks walking by the site. How often are you here? What are you up to when you’re walking by this wall? From conception, the doors are an interactive part of their community.
Building the door! We gather our sketches and head outside of the perimeter to work with a carpenter to have custom pieces cut. We bring those wooden pieces back to our studio where we assemble them into a door. We’ve found wooden doors don’t hold up as well as we’d like, so we take our wooden creation to a mold maker. Once the mold has been is complete, the a door is cast from the mold using a tinted resin mix. Next, the door is painted, assembled, and readied for installation. We install the door in its location using cement, caulk, or other adhesives depending on the setting.
Telling you about the door. We have a big ol ribbon cutting party because that was a ton of work!!!! We announce our new doors through ribbon cutting ceremonies and social media.
Maintaining the door. We stop by each door at least once a week to provide needed maintenance. Sometimes the door just needs to be wiped off and other times repairs like a new knob are needed. From time to time, the entire door needs to be replaced. We aren’t sure why, but two of our doors seem to attract attention from an individual who isn’t a fan of our big wonder. Paraphrasing Banksy, the best part of public art is it’s in public and the hardest part of public art is it’s in public. By and large, the doors are appreciated and cared for by the community.
Are the doors for a cause?
The cause is public art, encouraging exploration, and developing community!
Are there Tiny Doors in other cities?
Yes! Our Director, Karen Anderson is from Ann Arbor, Michigan where fairy doors are part of the city culture. Karen moved to Atlanta and decided to team up with folks to create a project unique to Atlanta using small doors. Since Tiny Doors ATL started in July 2014, projects who note being influenced by ours have popped up all over the country! From Seattle to Maine, we are amazed!
I found a door! Is this one of your doors?
All of the doors created and maintained by Tiny Doors ATL have our name on them somewhere. There are a number of doors in Atlanta that aren’t part of our project. We are happy to see folks inspired by our art.
I’m in Atlanta, how can I get a door from Tiny Doors ATL?
Our preference is to wait until an organization comes to us. So if you’re interested, please let us know. We are more interested in creating and maintaining a sustainable art project than putting up doors quickly all over town. We move slowly and deliberately with our calendar. If your neighborhood or business would like to be involved, you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you an application!
Wanna be in my art show or festival?
Probably! We have a collection of old doors which have been removed from the street and are artfully mounted and ready to show. All of their scuffs and dings show the community love and the passing of time. They’re pretty fun to look at (if we do say so ourselves). If you have a show where they might be a good fit, please reach out! These pieces are not for sale. If you are looking for items for sale, we’re happy to discuss that also. A few notes: We prefer that the show is all ages and either free or for a good cause, and that your venue hold liability insurance. These desires are flexible, but please know that that’s on our minds when considering a show.
How can I get involved with Tiny Doors ATL?
Thanks for asking! There are a few ways to get involved. Take a photo, tell your friends, come to our events, say hello when you see us out working. We love bringing all of our Atlanta neighbors together. The community you’re helping to build by participating is what’s making this project special. Thank you.