"Small Pleasures" is designed for the facade of the Ulrich Museum of Art (Wichita, KS) in place of Joan Miro's monumental mosaic Personnages Oiseaux. Miro’s mural is under restoration from 2012 through 2016, which is the duration of this project. The installation consists of a billboard-sized banner covering the facade, a small waterproof display case mounted in the middle of the banner, and two telescopes installed across the street for the viewing of miniature works displayed in the case. Bimonthly, a new item is featured in the 'mini gallery' selected from a pool of submissions. See 'call for entries' for detail.

We have all experienced the aesthetic and intellectual pleasures of engaging with works of art in their various forms. While these experiences do not characterize our daily routines, the aesthetic and intellectual pleasures of everyday life are also worth acknowledging because they are available to everyone at potentially any moment. This 'exhibition' solicits (art) objects, short pieces of writing, photographs, and everything in between, which capture inspirational moments of aesthetic or intellectual satisfaction that originate outside of art's usual contexts.

Please submit items for consideration through SlideRoom

Note: While the metal display case is 36" wide by 36" tall, and 11" deep, displayed items must be no larger than 10"X10"X10" in size. Submissions requiring power supply or sound need to be self-contained (Include battery, solar panel, wireless headphone, etc. Supplementary items are not included in size restriction).

Please note: 1. The Contributor hereby agrees to grant to the Ulrich Museum the non-exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the Work(s) for educational purposes using the fair use guidelines provided by the United States Copyright Office. “Fair Use” shall be defined as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. The Ulrich Museum shall further acquire the right to use the Work(s) for publicity and promotional purposes on the Ulrich Museum website, as well as printed promotional materials. 2. Because of the nature of this exhibition, I, the Ulrich Museum of Art, or Wichita State University will not bear financial responsibility for damage to objects due to exposure to sunlight, moisture, or temperature fluctuation. Otherwise, objects will be handled with the utmost care.

Over the first two years of the project, each bi-monthly selection will be made by a new person (professional artist, art historian, critic, curator, etc). Each 'juror' will be responsible for designating the next. This curatorial approach is designed to be as open and democratic as possible while ensuring quality in the selection process. Featured items will be cataloged on this website along with brief statements from the jurors. Starting in 2015, the project's staff will be responsible for selecting items for display until the last exhibition in mid-2016.

The following is a digital catalog of exhibitions

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Mary M. Mazziotti • altered doily

The perfect example of how the slight modification of an ordinary object makes its reading unfold in an unexpected direction. Mazziotti rendered this doily precarious and our experience of it mysterious, almost alarming; an experience aptly defined by the concept of the ‘uncanny’ – Staff

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Exchange

I received these two items as gifts in exchange for my time while living in Havana over the summer of 2015. An English translation of "History Will Absolve Me," a transcript of a four-hour speech delivered in 1953 by Fidel Castro in his own defense, was given to me in exchange for labor. I received the coin above the book in exchange for my participation in Tino Shegal's socially engaged performance. Shegal's work consisted of a completely empty room with two individuals greeting visitors to solicit their "opinion on market economy." After 10 minutes of discussion, I was given a password with which I was able to collect one Cuban peso (CUP) at the bookstore on my way out. It is important to know that the CUP, sometimes called the "national coin," is one of two official currencies in use, with the other being the convertible peso (CUC). The CUC is the only currency foreigners have access to officially, so receiving as payment the much less 'valuable' CUP represents a true economic exchange. – L

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Counterfeit Nike

This pair of Nike shoes was purchased in Havana, Cuba, in the summer of 2015. Counterfeit products such as this one are common throughout the city's few, small, and very sparsely stocked shops. They speak volumes about the still uneasy relationship between Cuba's economic ideology and the capitalist West. – Staff

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Bob the Builder

Museums are complicated organizations that require a balanced approach to exhibition scheduling, fundraising, and community engagement. To celebrate the opportunity that the Ulrich Museum provides WSU’s art and design faculty through its faculty biannual, we had a “Bob the Builder” doll on display for the duration of this year’s exhibition. The doll was a gift to Ulrich Museum director Bob Workman from the staff of the Amon Carter Museum while he was that institution’s associate director. Thank You, Bob!

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Void

In February of 2015, the project recieved a request for displaying a valuable artwork that required insurance. While it is an honor to have such a request, the project was designed to show works that are experimental in nature and circumvent the official 'art market' with its prized and desirable objects. Due to this fact, Small Pleasures went on strike for the months of February and March of 2015. – Staff

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Heidi Schwegler • cast plastic, paint, gunshot residue

I chose Juggernaut, by Heidi Schwegler for the ‘Small Pleasures’ exhibition, since it responded well to the functionality and scale of a display case, while also flirting with its aesthetic appeal. It is intriguing how a receptacle for precious and beautiful objects, now houses what appears to be a distressed, mass-produced toy that was painted, but is instead, a carefully sculpted replica of the same.

As Heidi writes in her statement, “Oppositions are inextricably linked (birth/death, presence/absence, progress/destruction): it is a relationship in which one half cannot exist without the other. The closer the two, the greater the friction. It is my intention that the work resides within this space. Juggernaut speaks of the delight, chaos and inescapable trauma of the toddler’s party, and for me this collision of emotionally opposite states perfectly illustrates of a moment of anguish.”

A longer conversation that I had with Heidi, on the topic of ruins can be read here - http://drainmag.com/peripheral-ruin-an-interview-with-heidi-schwegler/ – Avantika Bawa

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L • canonized object

I received this brick as a gift from a relative shortly before he passed away. It is an object that was blessed by Amma, a Hindu spiritual leader, during one of her visits to the US. I am fascinated by the process that allows this ordinary brick to become ‘visible’ within the matrix of venerated artifacts; a process akin to the one that makes objects sensible as works of art. It’s an operation where base material is transformed through a certain kind of ritual by someone with the appropriate authority, resulting in an object that appears in a new matrix where the suspension of disbelief is presupposed.  – L

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Judy Rushin • acrylic on panel with scuffs

In the spirit of her work titled "The Ding is the Object of Desire," Judy Rushin mailed this miniature painting from Tallahassee to Wichita without any packing. The resulting composition is a combination of intent and accident, where the network of carefully composed geometric pattern is altered by the various scuffs and dings accumulated in transit.