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KAREN COLLINS - African American Miniature Museum

Downtown Central Library Main Floor through March 31.

The unique handmade shadow box dioramas of artist Karen Collins are on display through March 31. Collins, who calls her work the African American Miniature Museum, uses recycled and found objects to craft detailed scenes from African American life, from Africa to the slave trade to segregation and civil rights. 

Collins shines a distinctive spotlight on working class African Americans as well as successful performers such as renowned Los Angeles R&B and blues singer Barbara Morrison as well as performers Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong. For this exhibit, Collins has brought in her signature hand-crafted dollhouse, which features tableaus showing a variety of family scenes in traditional dress and in modern day scenarios.

In 2011, Collins was honored as a Southern California Freedom’s Sister by the Museum of Tolerance for her community outreach and for her contributions in promoting civil rights and aiding underprivileged groups. Her Miniature Museum travels to libraries and museums. Her work is currently on exhibit at the Getty Gallery in Los Angeles.



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