Tiny Doors in Belfast a whimsical celebration of art

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - If you take a walk through Belfast, you might notice some doors to local businesses are far too small to fit through.

The Belfast Tiny Doors project is a whimsical celebration of the arts hidden in plain sight.

It’s organized by non-profit Our Town Belfast.

“They’re really playful,” says volunteer Anne-Marie Nolin.

“It’s really a fun thing to discover,” adds board member Pegi Miller.

“We started with a few doors a few years ago,” says Nolin. “And some of them didn’t hold up to the elements.”

They restarted their Tiny Door project with 22 new doors on storefronts, some encased in protective boxes.

Heather Wilson, another volunteer, says, “We wanted to make them last as long as they could so as many people could enjoy them as possible.”

Other cities around the country have similar “fairy doors.”

“While fairies are welcome at our doors, what we knew was already in Maine already, was Stuart Little,” says Wilson.

The two-inch tall mouse-boy, created by Maine author E.B. White, even has a place to tie up his canoe in the harbor.

Volunteers from Our Town Belfast crafted each door to match the qualities of the business.

“Some of them inspired us in different ways,” says Nolin, describing how the tiny door for a bookstore ended up being modeled as a gateway to a temple of knowledge.

Belfast Fiber Arts owner Alice Seeger called on one of the many artists there to craft a door.

“At Belfast Fiber Arts, we have 27 fiber artists who all live and work in Maine.”

Valerie Schurer Christle jumped at the chance.

“I thought about how do I represent 27 different people and a studio full of looms and spinning and all sorts of different things? So I spent a couple of days tying up little tiny balls of wool and stitching them together so they wouldn’t fall apart on the door,” says Schurer Christle.

The small blue door even swings open to reveal a photo of the inside of the shop.

You can hunt down the doors yourself or find a map of all 22 at ourtownbelfast.org/tinydoors

“A volunteer from the community did a wonderful digital map for us so people could get it on their phone and walk around and explore,” says Miller.

“I just think it’s about connecting and exploring and keeping your curiosity alive,” says Wilson.

“It’s the small things in life that count the most,” says Seeger.

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