ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- It's history and folk art all in one intriguing exhibit of dollhouses.
Two lifelong Alexandrians -- Sharon J. Frazier, a retired nurse and Linwood M. Smith, a retired automotive mechanic -- began working together in 1994 to create lovely and detailed miniature versions of their neighborhood's people and places.
"Our Alexandria: African American Dollhouses by Sharon J. Frazier and Linwood M. Smith," opens today at the Alexandria Black History Museum, includes a hair dressing salon, a medical building, an attorney's office, a nursery school and the Robert Robinson Library -- Alexandria's first black library.
That library was built by the city in 1940, after a 1939 sit-in at Alexandria's whites-only library organized by attorney and civil rights leader Samuel W. Tucker. The Robert Robinson Library now houses the Alexandria Black History Museum.
Meet Frazier and Smith at the opening reception for "Our Alexandria: African American Dollhouses by Sharon J. Frazier and Linwood M. Smith" on Feb. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition runs until May 1 at the Alexandria Black History Museum (902 Wythe St., Alexandria).
Boonie's Garage, a miniature service station, is part of the new Alexandria Black History Museum exhibit. Artist Linwood M. Campbell, who is also a retired mechanic, based this building on gas stations and repair shops he recalled from the Parker-Gray neighborhood.
The Attorney's Office is one of the professional offices included in the new miniatures exhibition at the Alexandria Black History Museum
Sharon J. Frazier and Linwood M. Smith created the Doctor's Office with inspiration from a physician's office in Alexandria's Parker-Gray community.
The Carver Nursery is based on a real nursery school built with federal funds during World War II to provide instruction and care for the young children of African Americans working in support of the war effort.
A hair dressing salon, barber shop and florist are among the miniature buildings are rooms and buildings that were influenced by the artists' memories of places in their hometown.
Sharon J. Frazier recalled her own music lessons to create the Music Teacher's Home, a new addition to the collection of miniature rooms and buildings.
RELATED VIDEO: How to make a miniature tree.