At Locker 50B, A Little Gallery Goes a Long Way – washingtonpost.com

Virginia Samsel got the gallery's walls and floor from a dollhouse shop.

Samsel, 24, says she has always “worked small.” She grew up in an artistic home — mom was a graphics designer, dad was a cartographer — and young Samsel liked to draw, crochet and sculpt tiny animals out of clay. When she was a VCU sophomore, a whole semester’s worth of paintings and sculptures fitted into her supply locker. Friends joked that it was like a mini-art gallery, so Samsel decided to convert it into one.

Samsel graduated from VCU in 2004 and handed the gallery off to other students. It fell into disrepair, so last August VCU adopted Locker 50B as an official project of the university’s art department and hired Samsel part time to run the space.

The dozen or so exhibitions a year get their own promotional cards and opening receptions. But forget vegetable crudites and wine: Samsel assigns each show a color and serves only food and drinks that fit the theme. “Palpability’s” reception was purple-themed, so she served grape Kool-Aid, Nerds candy and purple Welch’s Fruit Snacks.

Who ever said bigger is better got it all wrong – sometimes small packs a big punch.

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