On view Tuesday, September 4 to Sunday, October 14, 2018
The Gift features nearly fifty individual works of art from more than two dozen Athens and Atlanta area artists, organized with help from Athens-based Athulhu. Most of the show’s contributors are “Free Artists”—those who regularly leave their art in public spaces, a gift for whoever finds it. The show also features the work of four artists from Athens—Brown, Freeman, Kregel, McCracken—who don’t usually participate in the Free Art movement but were invited because they have an interest in public or communal art experiences. Many (but not all) of the works of art on view will be “dropped” in the Athens area after the exhibition closes, the weekend of October 19th - 21st.
Though Free Art was started in Atlanta by the artist known as Evereman (featured in this show), it has been slower to catch on in Athens. There are roughly ten Athens-based artists who are known to regularly contribute Free Art—relatively few compared to the dozens who are active in Atlanta. The Gift strives to increase involvement while prompting renewed considerations of the cultural and societal value of art.
Free Art is:
· Inclusive: anyone can join the fun! Becoming a Free Artist is as simple as creating and sharing a work of art. Many artists utilize social media to share their Free Art work and ask that the finders comment to “claim” the work online.
· Accessible: art is left (or “dropped”) in public spaces for anyone to collect and keep. Many artists use their art drops as an opportunity to encourage people to explore lesser traveled parts of their communities.
· A gift: artists contribute their time, materials, and creativity to share their work with the public; nothing is truly “free” about its production. Many artists prefer the term “Gift Art” to “Free Art”.
Accelerated through social media over the last decade, the Free Art movement has been propagated in cities around the world. Much like social media itself, the Free Art Movement has become a vehicle by which thousands of artists and art lovers connect to one another on a global scale. Free Art is widely recognized as a sort of Instagram-enabled art treasure hunt, but the spirit of the artist’s gift that the art embodies runs deeper than the game element.
The works of art on view are a mixture of Free Art and pieces that are exhibition only, meaning it will not be “dropped” in the Athens area after the show and may be for sale through the artist. This combination is intended to exhibit the idea that there is no distinction between “Free Art” and “sellable art” beyond the artists’ choice to donate it to their community. Only through conscious, continued effort can the spirit of the artist’s gift survive in any artform. Consider this an invitation.
Athens Free Artists
@athulhu • @cricketbancroft • @mild_pain • @sadbot_ath • @brothermoonman • @saintblondie • @tex_s_crawford • @TheBoyWhoSeesYellow • @thefusemuse
Additional Invited Athens Artists
Jared Brown • Lisa Freeman • Lou Kregel • Courtney McCracken
Atlanta Free Artists
@70dot • @bearcakestudios • @chwdog • @citysquatch • @evereman • @fisbn @intelligent_bean • @mingnpanda • @nat.hugs.cats • @sadstove • @scooterbeth @sQuishiepuss • @vileATL • @thesnarkypeacock
Mark your calendars for The Gift’s closing reception, which will feature Free Art activity stations with artists such as Evereman, Athulhu, sQuishiepuss, and many more! Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 7-10pm. Check our social media channels for details soon.