Miniature artist to debut Christmas collection featuring Rice paintings

Internationally collected local miniature artist Ann Cooper will introduce the 2018 Ann Cooper Christmas Collection of one-of-a-kind Christmas and beach cottage lantern scenes, each featuring an Ellen Rice painting and handmade local details, this Saturday, Dec. 8.

The public is being invited to meet Cooper from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. and to explore the “small, warm and cozy worlds” she’s designed. Hot apple cider (Rice’s personal recipe), cakes and other refreshments will be served. Early attendance is recommended for those wishing to purchase from the entire selection.

“These lantern scenes, created in 1:12 scale, tell stories with their details,” said Rice. “They are intricate, beautiful little worlds, like miniature dollhouses, that make you want to shrink down and sit by the flickering fireplaces and lit Christmas trees, or perhaps join a furry companion in a rocking chair. Beach memorabilia, all handmade by Ann from materials gathered on our shore, adds the special ambience to each scene.”

Cooper said she designed the lanterns being introduced on Saturday to “celebrate the beauty of Ellen’s art, peaceful moments of life on the shore and the traditions of the season I love so much.”

Attention to the smallest detail is the hallmark of the retired teacher’s lanterns, said Rice.

“You have to spend time looking closely at the scenes to take in all of the extra touches, like hand painted rugs, hand-finished and antiqued cabinets, bookcases and tables adorned with miniature china, books whose covers Ann has personalized, vases filled with flowers and baskets of tiny sea shells gathered by Ann, even tiny glass bottles containing local beach sand, and puppies and kittens gathered by the fireside or rocking chair.

“There are special lighting features, like easel lights over my framed paintings, chandeliers and candlesticks, lanterns and fireplaces that light with the flick of a tiny switch. … You just have to keep looking to take it all in, and the personal coastal aspects make them collectible conversation pieces and great gift ideas for all kinds of occasions,” said Rice. “My advice to people is come early. We had people lining up at the door for Ann’s last show.”

Rice has been painting the coastal region that’s been her home for more than 50 years, inspirational paintings and portraits, since 1962. Her work can be found in private, government and corporate collections on four continents and in 14 countries. Her gallery is listed as one of “10 Must-See Galleries and Museums in Delaware” by the international cultural review group the Culture Trip.

For more information, call the Ellen Rice Gallery at (302) 539-3405 during regular hours, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery, a female artist-owned gallery soon entering its 20th year, is located at 111 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View, 2.2 miles west of Bethany Beach and diagonally across from Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Coastal Plaza. Visitors can look for the red shutters and yellow butterfly benches, and follow the yellow flower pots to the door. Live directions are also available on the contact page of Rice’s website,