There are a lot of us who’d love to see art be a little less about price driven, elitist galleries and a little more about broadening the platform for emerging artists and new talent.
Over the last few years artists in various parts of the US, UK and Europe have been participating in Free Art Friday , a weekly art giveaway by local artists, a programme started by UK based artist My Dog Sighs.
The giveaway is an engaging way for artists to promote themselves and their art to a hungry group of art lovers.
Based on the idea of a scavenger hunt , the artist creates a small sample work, hides it somewhere in their city or local area , takes a cryptic photograph of its whereabouts and then adds the photos to social media platform of choice. The photo is labelled with clue of its whereabouts .
Would be art collectors then follow the posts and get on the hunt around the city to track down their artwork of choice.
The discovered artwork has a little label with the artists name and website (if they want to) and usually has a message along the lines of, “take me home and care for me” , or “here’is your new artwork , enjoy!”. The discoverer then posts a ‘found’ picture back on the same social platform.
So, art lovers have a way to get some ‘free art’ from artists they know and love, while also discovering new and emerging talent. The artist themselves has a unique way of promoting & sharing their great work, and gets to know other artists in their area. The community gets a whole lot of positivism and creativity, so it’s win,win,win.
The programme is particularly good for lesser-known artists who can connect with peers and new audiences . Importantly, the art is sample sized, so doesn’t as not to undermine the commercial value of the artist and their work The removal of the price tag gives the artist the freedom to create.
Undoubtedly this programme will bring newcomers to the art world, and give artists another channel of distribution and promotion, or just a great way to share art. The programme has popped up with Perth and Newcastle creating specific local programmes.
So what say you artists ,cities, local communities , is it time to give it a go on a large scale?
A few references of current global programmes:
My Dog Sighs Free Art Friday Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeArtFriday
My Dog Sighs Flikr https://www.flickr.com/photos/mydogsighs/sets/72157594169667418/
Free Art Friday Twitter UK https://twitter.com/FreeArtFridayUK
Free Art Friday Detroit https://twitter.com/FAFDET
Free Art Friday Cheltenham Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Art-Friday-Cheltenham/315985395208371