A piece of art the size of a hockey or baseball card that was originally traded but not sold is on display at the Old Courthouse Gallery starting this week.
Called an ACEO — Art Cards, Editions and Originals — the mini paintings, watercolours, tapestries and pottery are rapidly becoming a hot item among art collectors.
About 30 years ago artists started creating art cards, said Jackie Chadwick of the Old Courthouse Gallery. These were produced in whatever medium the artist worked in with the intention of trading with other artists.
“There was no transaction. No money traded hands,” said Chadwick. “They were just something they would swap and trade.”
For whatever reason — be it the size or collectible nature — the art cards became popular. So much so that art enthusiasts wanted to buy them, said Chadwick. The ACEO was born.
“People appreciated them for the pieces of art that they are,” she said.
Examples of ACEO created by local arts will be on display and up for sale throughout the month of March in an exhibit called Pocket Art.
“They can be any medium. The only rule is the size, which is two and a half by three and a half inches,” said Chadwick. “Because they are that size, they are really collectible.”
So much so that people buy albums with pages of sleeves to keep their ACEOs in, cases and even individual protective sheaths for the art.
“You can put them in the little plastic pockets and little plastic sleeves,” she said. “You can get little easels and display them like miniature paintings.”
The ACEO are popular on EBay and with art enthusiasts who live in condos or apartments and have a limited space to display paintings or pottery, she said.
The Old Courthouse Gallery is located at 7 Seymour St. West. It’s open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information visit www.kamloopscourthousegallery.com.