Tiny Doors ATL: Miniature Art That Inspires Curiosity

On your next trip to Atlanta, explore the city's tiniest — and most imaginative — art installations.

By: Zara Saponja

Sometimes when traveling, it's easy to get caught up being a tourist. And that's where you find yourself among all the other first-timer, selfie-taking tourists who are seeing all the same pretty things the guidebooks told you to see. But then, when you leave, you wonder if you actually got an authentic taste of the city at all, because you didn't really get to knock elbows with locals at the museums they've all seen a hundred times or not at all sort-of-thing.

Karen Anderson, principal artist and director of Tiny Doors ATL, has crafted the perfect fix to this problem. To put it simply, she installs six-inch miniature doors in the heart of Atlanta's most quintessential neighborhoods. Each door is carefully constructed and curated to fit right into its community home. And just like their homes, these miniature doors are ever evolving, true to the reflection of Atlanta's unique landscapes.

Fully-detailed and decorated front stoops make this interactive art installation a full-time job. Tiny Doors ATL principal artist and director Karen Anderson (above) states: "It is the dream job I've always wanted."

Photo by: Tyler Strong

Tyler Strong

Fully-detailed and decorated front stoops make this interactive art installation a full-time job. Tiny Doors ATL principal artist and director Karen Anderson (above) states: "It is the dream job I've always wanted."

These whimsical doors are for everyone. There's no entrance fee and no line (although there are some door knockers) — just an invitation into the different and real flavors the city of Atlanta has to offer. When I visited the doors, it felt like I was on a scavenger hunt that fueled my imagination and my curiosity. And the best part is that I got to blend in as a tourist because somehow, I knew all the best spots in the city. (These doors are the yellow brick road for any lost traveler.)

I thought my love for Tiny Doors was unique, but I was quickly proven wrong when I saw how the locals love and follow Tiny Doors, too. There's an almost surprising amount of pride for these doors and the neighborhoods they represent, as I found them scattered along the BeltLine, where people were checking up on the new foliage planted outside the doors. I met someone who told me about the unveiling parties for new Tiny Doors and even a few Tiny birthday parties they've attended. I quickly realized that this art project is very much a living part of its community.

Karen says she'll never tell anyone what's behind the doors — that's for all of us to imagine ourselves.

Photo by: Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Karen says she'll never tell anyone what's behind the doors — that's for all of us to imagine ourselves.

Tiny doors ATL is a public art installation that's made for its people and the history of the city they come from and are a part of. Together, it's the community and its people who keep the doors alive. Tiny Doors is being fully funded by grants from the city and organizations in the area. That's part of what makes the installations so incredible and inspiring. It shows how intertwined the community and the project are, and you feel it when you see that the doors have their own unique places in their local community.

So, for all you urban explorers, wonderers and daydreamers out there planning a trip to Atlanta, you can't look past Tiny Doors, but you can dream up what is past that colorful entrance. One thing we know for sure is that this tiny Atlanta art has one big heart for its city home.

Discover all of Atlanta's tiny doors:

Door #1 Krog Street Tunnel: Head to the vibrant tunnel where most street artists get their start. Really, you can't miss it. (You'll definitely see what I mean.)

Door #2 Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark (BeltLine): This is a very lively and friendly pedestrian area under the Freedom Parkway overpass by the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. Go for a walk and witness the largest public art display in the southeast, and maybe see a kickflip or two on the way.

Door #3 Inman Park Pet Works: Discover the doggie door in front of Inman Park Pet Works. We said these doors are for everyone!

Door #3: Inman Park Pet Works

Photo by: Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Door #3: Inman Park Pet Works

Door #4 Little Shop of Stories: Tiny Doors ATL inspires exploration and curiosity just like books, so they teamed up with Little Shop of Stories in Decatur Square.

Door #5 The Tree Door: Made in collaboration with Trees Atlanta in celebration of Arbor Day, this is one door that will come to life before your eyes.

Door #6 Paris on Ponce (BeltLine): This is the second door on the BeltLine, located outside of Paris on Ponce.

Door #6: Paris on Ponce (BeltLine)

Photo by: Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Door #6: Paris on Ponce (BeltLine)

Door #7 Charis Books & More: Discover a tiny door at the South's oldest independent feminist bookstore.

Door #8 Milltown Arms Tavern: This special door has little messages written in the bricks. If you can make out the tiny writing, you might even find the proposal.

Door #9: King of Pops: There's a tiny door just 15 feet away from Atlanta's most famous popsicles. Is too convenient a thing?

Door #10: Grant Park Tree Door: This tree door may have the color of a sweet Georgia peach, but it also has the city's finest view due to its location at the highest natural point in Atlanta.

Door #10W Grant Park: You can find this door on the west side of the park. And if you're in town between April and mid-December, you'll also find yourself at the Grant Park Farmers Market.

Door #10W: Grant Park

Photo by: Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors ATL

Door #10W: Grant Park

Door #11 Center for Puppetry Arts: This door reinstates Tiny Door ATL's mission of accessibility to all with a tiny ramp in front of its door, welcoming everyone.

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