Traverse City artist Charles R. Murphy has long been revered for his inspiring and iconic watercolor paintings, which have found their way into private and public collections, have graced the pages and covers of books, and have even adorned CDs and wine labels. Over the past 40+ years he’s also shared his knowledge with budding artists through innumerable painting classes and workshops throughout the Midwest and has exhibited with the American Watercolor Society and International Society of Experimental Artists.
But just when you think this prolific artist has revealed all of his many and varied gifts, he surprises us with a whimsical new medium that delights the senses in a whole new way.
‘The Little Dwellings Of Wildwood Lane’ is a collection of miniature structures built by Murphy in 2018. “These little dwellings serve as the homes for a fictional community of reclusive, tiny forest inhabitants whose lives are dedicated to preserving the health and well being of their woodland environment,” Murphy explains. “The structures are designed to be installed in natural settings and found either by accident or by design, owing to the intent of the host party.”
A recent visit of the artist to Glen Arbor inspired Murphy to install six of these magical creations on the campus of Cherry Republic at 6026 S. Lake Street. ‘The Little Dwellings of Wildwood Lane’ will dot the cherry retailer’s grounds amidst perennial gardens and leafy woods on Saturday, June 8. Visitors to Glen Arbor are invited to stroll through Cherry Republic’s grounds throughout the day to view the miniature structures perched beneath tree roots, along grassy paths, and in other unexpected places.
Murphy will install three additional structures across Lake Street on the grounds of the Glen Arbor Arts Association, which is hosting the New Views: Home/Place exhibit from June 7-August 8, 2019. This juried exhibition of 2D and 3D work will explore home and place identity from fresh, original and unexpected perspectives. Michelle Aucello, who leads the GAAC’s Little Artists program, facilitated a fairy house-building project earlier this month, and the resulting fairy houses will be on display sporadically throughout the run of the exhibition.
Images of Murphy’s Little Dwellings made their debut in a 2019 calendar he created. A collector’s portfolio containing all 13 of the calendar images are available as fine art digital giclees and are available to the public directly from the artist. For more information, call 231-947-6285.