Finders Keepers: The Free Art Friday Movement

By | 4:51 PM
Free Art Friday is a movement where artists gift pieces of original art to the public.  You may associate it with Random Acts of Kindness. The idea is to bring some joy to someone by brightening up their day with a piece of art that upon finding, they can keep it or leave it.  It is not a secret event and you can, as an artist, decide to do it on your own in your own way. However, in order to be part of a group of artists that have an organized approach to the event, you do need to make connections within the local art community. 
Free Art - asboluv stencil on hardboard
Give Me Wings by asboluv
Typically it is organized by an artist collective or sometimes an art supply store or someone who is otherwise connected to the local art scene.  This will vary from town to town, city to city. In order to be a finder, you may be “in the know” about the local organized event, or just happen to find the art by chance.  

Artists have been leaving art out for many years, however, the modern version of the Free Art Movement and the coining the phrase of "Free Art Friday" is attributed to online artist My Dog Sighs, a.k.a. MDS. Back in 2006 he started his group on Flickr which has carried on the tradition ever since. Here is the Free Art Friday Facebook page.   

Here is how it works for artists:
  • Chose a piece of art to give away.
  • Write on an attached note "free art for the finder to own and enjoy." By choice you can include name, website, email, etc. If participating on social media, you may want to give @names and #hashtags to enable the finder to thank you or give a shout out on social media should they desire to do so. 
  • Place the art somewhere in public either outside or indoors, the how and where is entirely up to you. You can hide it or leave it in an obvious location.
  • Some make a scavenger-hunt game of it leaving clues on Twitter, Facebook, and more recently Instagram (which can also be shared to the aforementioned social media).

Free art Friday
Not So Empty Shop Window by asboluv

For those who wish to scavenge up some local art, just follow the artists! Something important to keep in mind, is what Free Art Friday is NOT.  When the word "free" is used some folks can get carried away, so please keep in mind that it is not meant to exploit the generosity of local artists. Please don't be a greedy art-hoarder. Also, know that a copyright is not transferred in the free transaction, so do not pick up an art drop with the intent to reproduce the art image. The intellectual property belongs to the artist themselves only.

To find out why artists participate in Free Art movements Click Here.


Share your thoughts and experiences with Free Art Friday.  Have you participated? Are you going to?
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13 comments:

Another great article! I have participated in the Austin, TX version and have enjoyed it a lot. I plan on doing more.

Rebecca said...

Indeed you have. I see you mentioned it in your blog as well http://tanyadavisart.blogspot.com/2014/03/staple-free-art-friday-and-other-stuff.html


A fine testimonial example. Thanks for sharing so much, TDA!

Paul Graham said...

What a great idea. Also well presented as to the possibilties and the ground rules. The copyright aspects are as though a musician played you a song ... yours to enjoy but not to profit from. Montreal would love it !

Marcie Kenny said...

I just found your site and love! So many interesting things to look at especially the Theta Brainwaves - How They Can Affect Creativity I will have to check out.

Rebecca said...

You have such a great knack for analogies, which comes across frequently on your blog as well. Social interaction and sharing is an element to all art that is often neglected, Free Art events helps to pull out the introverted into the art community. What a fun way to discover a new artist in your hometown!

Pat Amsden said...

A great way for artists to share their work and gain exposure as well as give ordinary people a chance to enjoy works of art.

Rebecca said...

I feel that is a very apt observation. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Thanks!

Andleeb said...

This is what I would say .... Way to happiness.... Everyone involved gets a satisfaction and peace of mind and heart.... The artist who creates his master piece by hard work when hands it over to others as a good will gesture , gets a lot in form of respect....
This is such a wonderful Idea , first time I came to know about such thing... When I will go back to Kashmir , I will Motivate people to have any such event...
Thank you for a nice share....

Rebecca said...

I agree with you that it is a wonderful thing and an exercise of happiness. It is also wonderful to know of your wish to bring this movement to Kashmir. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and many wishes of good faith.

nice with simply fun

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