THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


PROVIDENCE TALKS: A CONVERSATION WITH JON BUONACCORSI AND SHEA'LA FINCH

by by Gillian Brassil

Jon Buonaccorsi and Shea'la Finch run Tiny Showcase, an online, well, showcase for small art that has ranged from posters to tee-shirts to lunar calendars; the art is turned into a limited-run print production and sold affordably. Tiny Showcase has been kickin' it miniature-style since November 2004. Its founders prefer to collaborate for all things Tiny Showcase, so this interview for the Independent was conducted by email, with questions passed back and forth.

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Why did you start Tiny Showcase?
We created the site because we were frustrated by both the absence of affordable art, as well as
the lack of recognition in galleries for all our favorite artists. By using the internet we were able create a new way to promote affordable art, to create an inviting environment for burgeoning or timid art collectors, and to provide both new and established artists with publicity, a new outlet for generating income and an online community of like-minded artists.
Tell me about particularly memorable pieces.
There are so many, too many to mention. A few, though: Alec Thibodeau's lunar calendars, Jez Burrows' Celestial Guide and our Learning Press posters. Most recently--last Tuesday--we released an edition of 200 unique wire sculptures of cheese created by Providence's CW Roelle.
What's the Learning Press?
It's a series of mildly factual, mostly fictitious, educational posters, inspired by the posters on classroom walls, but free from any commitment to reality. TS Learning Press is dedicated to excellence in education by blurring and/or eradicating the lines where real life meets way better make believe life.
How did you two end up in Providence? What makes it a city worth doing your thing in?
We're both from Rhode Island. Tiny Showcase is internet-based therefore leaving our location out of the equation when it comes to publicity, sales, et cetera, so we're free to operate anywhere we like. Providence has a small-town atmosphere but is teeming with the greatest people and the best companies. Although we work with artists from all over the world, we do feature a high percentage of local artists. That makes us feel secure and happy, to work with people we know, rather than anonymous companies around the nation, and to keep our community turning in that way. I [Shea'la] like it best in summer when I ride my bike to pick up letterpress prints, or when I see people around town who we are involved in creating projects with. 
What are some Providence gems? How do you spend your time here?
For our coffee it's always New Harvest and for pastry it's always Craig Demi's time-halting treats at Olga's Cup + Saucer. For our books it's Cellar Stories or Myopic or the library. For something to eat we are normally at the Fez or Taqueria Pacifica or Julian's, of course, although for extra awesome feasts Al Forno has never let us down. Sun and Moon Korean food in East Providence is a haven of everything that's right in this world. We are in the process of researching the ultimate pizza location, but to date Nice Slice, Caserta's and Bobby and Timmy's wood-grilled are all contenders.

If she were a wire cheese sculpture, GILLIAN BRASSIL B'12 would be a mild bleu.