So talk about art in discovery! I was giddy excited this week when I discovered Free Art Friday while scrolling an Instagram feed. With no more information than a hashtag, I decided right then that I would make a piece and put it out today.
In the meantime I did a little googling and discovered that this is a global activity that has been happening for more than a decade. The premise is simple, make a piece of art or craft add a tag offering it as free and place it in a public place where someone is likely to find it.
This idea appeals to me on so many levels, and really connected with something I have felt passionate about for a long time; art accessibility; accessibility not just for a general public audience, but for makers as well. The concept of Free Art Friday connects the creativity of a maker with the interest of an audience in a spontaneous and playful way. It eliminates the expectations of formal art viewing and allows the finder to ultimately participate in the work of art, find it and take it home. There is no cloud of “museums are not for me” and “I am not a good enough artist”
For years I have heard the same kind of comments from people of different ages and all walks of life…I am not creative, I am not creative enough, I don’t understand art, I am not an artist, I wish I could draw, I was told I could not draw well enough…always with a sense of melancholy over the loss of a wished for acknowledgement of personal creativity. Free Art Friday is the kind of activity that opens up these doubts and expectations, there are no formal rules and therefore we can all be the artist and we can all be the participator.
Now back to Rockford (the town nearest my rural home) and me totally excited. As I looked through the Free Art Friday blog and Facebook page I found links to city groups all around the world, but none here. So here it is! Free Art Friday – Rockford! I jumped in with two feet; I put out my first piece and started the local Facebook community on the same day! So join me! You do not have to be an ‘artist’ you can share anything you have made, maybe it’s a poem or a crocheted doily. You can participate completely on your own, or connect with a local or national group. The idea is to share, to connect, to believe in your own creativity and the power of sharing it with others.
The image above is the piece I put out in downtown Rockford, Illinois this morning. It is actually left over bits of college work that I schlepped home from the west coast last winter. Doing this was an awesome experience, I felt nervous and self-conscious walking around looking for a spot to leave it. And as I walked away after selecting one I felt totally embowered and free.
The saying says, “The earth without art is just, eh…” lets help dress her up a little bit!