Niceland and Forest Art House Are Using the Old Tiny Buddha Space for Pop-Up Art Events



Niceland popped-up a weekend of art, including this forest faun mask by Lavinia Hanachiuc. Photo by Patti Smith.

Art is everywhere in this town; you just need to know where to look. The Niceland art show, a pop-up exhibit that took place last weekend, is a perfect example of how tucked away spaces can be transformed into showrooms for painters and sculptors.

The Tiny Buddha Boutique was previously above Totoro at 213 S. State Street. But the shop, which specializes in yoga wear, recently moved to a new location inside Babo in the Nichols Arcade, though Tiny Buddha still has rights at the moment to use the old space.

"We wanted to take advantage of the space while it is available," said artist Helen Gotlib (sister of Tiny Buddha Boutique owner Risa Gotlib) to display works by local artists.

That led to the Niceland art show, which ran February 10-13. The show featured work from local artists Dylan Strzynski, Lavinia Hanachiuc, and Gotlib.


Helen Gotlib's In the Dark of the Sun, pen, India ink, and gouache on paper, 30"x44". Photo by Patti Smith.

Gotlib specializes in printmaking and scientific illustrations. Her pieces at Niceland were mostly of flowers she has grown in her garden or wildflowers she found on hikes. “I’ve been working on a series of prints that are inspired by the Kitch-iti-kipi spring in the Upper Peninsula," she said. "I try to use different textures from wood and ink to talk about how nature repeats itself in so many interesting ways.”

Despite the artists' different styles, their works streamed together naturally and complemented each other in the bright, open space: Gotlib’s nature works flowed into Strzynski’s pastel paintings, which fed into Hanachiuc’s pottery.


A 2017 trio of mixed media pastels on 24"x24" panels by Dylan Strzynski, L to R: Afterfuture (fig2), Afterfuture (fig1), and Niceland. Photo by Patti Smith.

Another pop-up art gallery will take place at the former Tiny Buddha location on Saturday, February 18, sponsored by Foster Art House. But Gotlib and Strzynski won't be able to attend that event because both will be on the road showing their artwork all over the country. While hitting the pavement is rewarding, Gotlib said, “Having the space in downtown Ann Arbor available right now to show with Lavinia was the perfect opportunity!”

Like many other local artists, Gotlib sees the need to have more spaces available for local folks to showcase their talent. “I think it’s important for artists and the community to have the opportunity to experience local art year-round," she said. "Art helps connect people and what they want to express and every community can benefit from having places like this for people to gather together.”

Patti Smith is a special education teacher and writer who lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and cats.

On Saturday, February 18, from 6 pm-10 pm at 213 S. State Street, Foster Art House will present the work of five local artists: Corryn Jackson, Erin Anderson-Ruddon, Lucy Cahill, Erin Morin, and Janet Nelson. For more information on the artists featured at Niceland, visit,, and