Sculptor Karen Anderson


Sculptor Karen Anderson has captured the imagination of Atlanta with her whimsical public art project, Tiny Doors ATL, which features miniature door creations.

Set into the bark at the base of a tree in Atlanta’s Grant Park is a tiny, blue-green door. At the touch of a finger, it opens inward—but only a crack, leaving viewers to imagine the space beyond. The miniature door, along with nine others across the city, is the work of alumna Karen Anderson, a sculptor whose whimsical public art project, Tiny Doors ATL, has captivated Atlanta since 2014.

Outside the 6- or 7-inch-tall doors, cast in resin from Anderson’s original wooden creations, visitors leave their own contributions: postage-stamp-sized newspapers and inches-long doormats, tiny Halloween jack-’o-lanterns and hand-crocheted decorations. The intention is “to create space for people to interact with one another,” says Anderson SAS’13, who supports the project through fundraisers and donations. “This is about imagination and community.”

Months of research precede each installation as Anderson seeks a design that will resonate with its neighborhood. “If I created a door I liked, they would all be pink and sparkly,” she says. “I want it to be a door that everyone can walk through.”

As a child in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Anderson loved equipping her dollhouse with handcrafted furniture. For her, the appeal of the miniature lies in its equalizing accessibility. “Your dining room table is huge when you’re 2, and too small when you’re 30 and trying to make a cake,” Anderson says. “But dollhouse furniture is small to everyone. In a world where things can be so big and overwhelming, it feels very manageable and tangible.” •