Art for All

In Art Projects, Community, Inspiration, Instant Film, Urban Exploration
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I’m guessing most readers here know about, or have seen, a Little Free Library. These popped up in recent years as an innovative ways to share books or other reading material freely with others, while building community spirit.These small outposts of generosity are so heartwarming to see; it’s fun to peek inside the libraries and look for familiar or new titles, perhaps taking a book or leaving a favorite for the next person to enjoy.

Last summer, while in Seattle for our son’s wedding, I came across an intriguing alternative: a Free Little Art Gallery (FLAG)! I happened upon this little gem when returning from a morning walk to a local bakery near our rental house. Needless to say, I had to stop and take a good look. And then–naturally–I made a beeline for our house to pick up my little Polaroid camera, so I could return and make a contribution to the gallery!

Love the little twig holding the door clasp!

I can’t explain why finding this little gallery made me so happy, but it did! Perhaps because it allowed me a way to participate? Perhaps because it was right there on the street for anyone to enjoy? Or maybe because of my love for all things in miniature? Whatever the reason, the gallery demanded my attention and sparked my imagination.

Opening the door to peek inside!

It seems this particular little gallery is pretty popular! By the time I raced home for my Polaroid camera, one of the pieces of art inside had already been taken (missed opportunity for me)!

Notice the missing watercolor? I added my little Polaroid print for the next person to enjoy.
Documenting the contribution with Polaroid Go camera

I recently came across this article in Smithsonian magazine about the little art galleries; included in this piece are photos of this very gallery in Seattle! Washington Post also picked up on this trend, and featured photos of galleries in Washington, D.C. as well as Seattle. Apparently the idea is gaining traction!

In fact, a “Free Little Adventure Gallery” has now made its home in Kansas City, and of course I made a special trip to see it! I left behind a few pieces of hand-drawn art, as well as a couple of miniature Polaroid prints, while also taking one piece of art to bring home. It’s such a fun concept, and one I hope to see more of!

Leaving some good luck in Kansas City.

If you want to learn more, click the links I’ve provided above, and be sure to follow this Instagram account! I have my fingers crossed for more of these to show up in nearby locations…and I’ll definitely be revisiting these galleries in the future.

Leave a comment for me if you’ve ever come across one of these little art galleries in the wild! I’d love to know where they are.

~Leslie

8 Comments

  1. i live in Western North Carolina in the small town of Brevard… we have one on a road that is used by many…. we called it Petite Galleria: Art for All

  2. Love that these are popping up! We even have one in our small rural town of Madison, GA- instagram.com/freelittleartgallerymadga

    • It’s such a great concept! I found the IG account and I”m now following it.

  3. I haven’t seen one but next month I will be in Chicago. so I’m hoping to find one there. Thank you for sharing, I love this sort of thing. Love the library one as well.

    • I hope you find one in Chicago! And yes, the libraries are so wonderful, too.

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