Ottawa street artist serving up tiny 'treats' across the city

Street art and murals can been seen all across the city in many different shapes and sizes, but one local street artist is shrinking things down a bit.

The artist goes by the psuedonym "StreetArtMiniature", or SAM for short. SAM has been sculpting miniature--non-edible--versions of popular food items since 2017.

“I just really want to add a little bit of surprise to someone’s day,” says SAM. “So, it’s my take on street art. It’s something I haven’t seen done before, where I make miniatures of food, and I’ll hide them in the city.”

If you’ve ever been walking down the street and happen to spot a tiny burger on a ledge, this is where it comes from.

“I just kind of started it to see if anyone would notice. And they did. And that was really awesome,” says SAM. “And then I would get messages from people saying, we really enjoy this. They go out with their family and friends and they go looking for them, which I think is just really awesome.”

SAM posts her creations on her Instagram account to give her followers a hint, and so begins the miniature treasure hunt.

        View this post on Instagram                      

A post shared by SAM StreetArtMiniature (@streetartminiature)

John Normandeau is obsessed with miniature art, and when he accidentally stumbled upon one of SAM’s pieces, he was instantly hooked.

“On a weekend, we would go out and spend, give or take, five to eight hours,” says Normandeau. “Every time you got close to one, or you found one, it would get you more excited. And even when I find a brand new one on the street, it’s still like a, whoo!”

The miniature food art is meant to be found, photographed, shared, and left for the next hunter to find. Normandeau has a pretty hefty lead, though.

“My unofficial count is 730,” Normandeau says, laughing.

“It’s exciting and it keeps me going,” says SAM. “It keeps challenging me to make new ones, to hide them in different places, different areas of the city that I may not have gone to before and just to keep building on it.”

SAM says she's happy to see people enjoying her work, and will continue to play hide and seek with her Instagram followers for as long as possible.

“Most recently during COVID-19, I had someone reach out to me and say it was the only reason they left their house,” says SAM, “which I thought was really impactful because if I can inspire someone to get outside when they’re maybe not feeling that great, that's really wonderful.”

Almost as wonderful as the cutest little croissant in the world.