What is Operation: Bring Art to the People? In a nutshell, it’s a project that I use to do just that: Bring Art to the People, by using various public/social art projects and means. Including, but not limited to: art hunts, art drops, murals, Free Art Friday, and most recently my new project called: #IMJAX.
Read on to get the background on Operation: Bring Art to the People…
Just when I think I have my art career figured out, I get a new epiphany that turns my world upside down and makes me re-think why I’m doing what I do. Here’s the simple breakdown:
- I create art because that’s what I believe I was placed on this earth to do. Part of that vision includes helping to improve the quality of life for all with more public art projects and empowering artists to succeed and break the “starving artist” curse.
- After 15 years of pursuing my art career, I got a big slap of reality 2 years ago when I discovered I knew nothing about the business of art.
- After listening to many experts on the business of art, I realized the system is inherently broken due to a large amount of exploitation of artists who are basically offered a lottery ticket (aka “exposure”) instead of being paid for the skills and services that the receiving party is benefiting from and just like a real lottery ticket, chances are slim that you’ll win.
- There is no one correct formula for success. Each artist is different and what is right for one artist may not be right for another. In other words: Not all artists are created the same (:
- In addition, it’s also become inherently clear that there is a huge disconnect between the masses and the fine arts. Most people believe that the fine arts are for other people of higher social or economic status and not for the average person. I blame this disconnect primarily on our lack of funding for the arts in our schools, public art programs, & even in the reduction of support for NPR & PBS, which are 2 very important avenues for art & culture to the general public.
- Finally, things in the art world have to change. Not for every artist, business, or institution, but for those of us who want to make a bigger more meaningful impact with our work. It’s nice to have our work in a gallery or even be praised after we die, but what about the people that are missing out on what we have to offer? We have to start looking outside of the box and finding more creative ways to bring our art to the people which in turn will connect the “outsiders” of the art world into the deep, intricate, mind opening, empowering, beautiful & uplifting eye candy that is art and in turn creating one more art appreciator/enthusiast that will hopefully begin a cycle of supporting the arts, not only financially but also through local community efforts, through our elected officials, and by word of mouth which will in turn affect our generation and future generations of artists to succeed and prosper and creating even more fabulous art and so on.
One artist who has discovered how to reach the masses is an artist named, Patrick Skoff, based out of Chicago, who is the mastermind behind a public art project called Free Art Hunts, which he will soon be taking on the road in his first ever National Art Hunt. To get the complete back story on this encounter click here. After a year of unfolding events, Patrick has already hit the road, scoping out the National Art Hunt route, making connections, networking, and spreading the word. I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with him (and his fabulous dog, Mighty Mouse) during his recent trip to Jax. He’s a wealth of information and a generous heart to match.
Big things are coming to Jax and to our fabulous nation as well, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates:
*UPDATE: In addition to my random art drops, I will also be participating and running the Free Art Friday Jacksonville Chapter, aka FAFjax. Technically any artist can participate and do art drops or art hunts whenever they feel the urge, but this will be a unified effort brought together by social media. Just another way to expand OPERATION: Bring Art to the People.
Just a few things to remember for artists participating:
1. select a piece of your art that you want to set free into the open wild
2. be sure to write or attach a note to said piece of art encouraging the finder to post pics of their find on the FAFjax FB page &/or #fafjax on Twitter & Instagram: fafjax.
3.hide said piece of art (it can be large or small) in a random location
4. take a pic of said piece of art & upload your clue/hint of where to find said piece of art on facebook: fafjax, twitter, or instagram, be sure to use the #fafjax tag.
5. it can be done anytime you want but preferably Fridays since it is called free art FRIDAY, but i’m not too picky
6. enjoy connecting random people to our local art scene.
Suggestion to artists: be sure that your name, website, or contact info is on your art somewhere so in case someone wants to reach your or inquire about more of your work, they can do so.
*A REMINDER for the finders of the art:
YOU HAVE A CIVIC DUTY to your local artists who so graciously gave a piece of art to this social public art project, to take a pic of the art you found & upload it to the FAFjax facebook, twitter, or instagram, and hashtagged with #fafjax, so they know it’s been found
Thanks and spread the word