The Free Art Project : 3rd Anniversary

Be curious. Start something. Keep going.

The We Are All Artists free art project began on April 8th 2016, which by my reckoning, makes it three years old. I’d no idea what I was letting myself in for when I started, and I certainly didn’t look this far ahead when thinking about the possibilities.

Since the project started I’ve made and hidden art to reflect the weather, the local river, the community, seasonal events and more. Sometimes I make art to remember people no longer with us, sometimes the art has a musical theme, and sometimes I really struggle for inspiration – but I keep going.

The free art project has enabled me to run several community art workshops, and a pop up exhibition, bringing art to a wider audience. Art classes have developed, opportunities to live paint have revealed themselves. I’ve become a member of our local artists open studios, shown my work locally, and in Germany and France, and as my practice has developed, people have supported me by investing in my work.

Who knew that making and hiding art for others to find could be such a joyful pursuit, and lead to so many other interesting things?

Occasionally I play with an artistic theme called Passing Strangers – faces in profile intended to represent the briefest of relationships…we saw each other, if only for a moment. In a way – the free art project is a bit like that for me, as I’ve been introduced to many people through the art I hide. Sometimes I get caught hiding it, sometimes people drop me a kind note after they’ve found it. Sometimes I get a friendly wave from someone in town whose path has crossed with mine, as a finder, or someone who plays the game and has yet to find a piece.

This week’s free art drop is titled ‘Passing Strangers : Third Anniversary’. Each one of the three faces in profile represents a year of the project. As this is an anniversary piece, it is larger than usual. The canvas measures 30cm x 80cm, so hiding it may prove a little tricky…but I’ll find somewhere to stash it. Happy hunting and thanks for all your support and encouragement over the past three years.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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