Ready to enhance your art collection and support local artists? Now you can for free—thanks to Free Art Bham, a global movement that’s thriving in the Magic City. Find out how it got started and how you can participate.
Providing art to Birmingham since 2018
If you’ve ever wandered around Birmingham on a Friday, you may have seen beautiful pieces of art leaning against a building downtown or in a store. Don’t worry—they haven’t been left behind. They’re simply a part of Free Art Bham.
Free Art Friday is a global movement where artists give away works of art for free. Local artist, Ashley Guest, founded the Birmingham chapter in July 2018. Since then, the movement has continued to grow.
“It’s been our pleasure to help connect the art world and the public through the global free art movement. Sharing this idea with other people has been amazing.”Ashley Guest, Founder, Free Art Bham
Today, Free Art Fridays are a regular occurrence in Birmingham and the surrounding metro cities. Ashley AKA the FART Fairy places works of art from artists around Birmingham then shares hints of their location on social media. Then, the scavenger hunt begins.
“I decided to collaborate with FreeArt because I love the idea of art being more accessible to people. I love sharing what I do with others and this allows me to do so in a fun and creative way!”Chloe Batchelder, Artist
Here’s how you can participate
Follow Free Art Bham on Facebook and Instagram and the hashtags #fartbham and #freeartfriday to keep up with the FART Fairy’s clues. Clues typically include a picture of the artwork and photos of the location.
If you know the location, head out the door and try your luck. If you’re the first one there, the art is yours—but don’t forget to share a photo of yourself on Instagram with the tag #fartbham to let everyone know it’s been found.
Plus, sharing photos of yourself with the art is a great way to support our local arts community and encourages the artists to continue creating and sharing with Birmingham.
For artists, participating is easy as can be. You can either reach out to Ashley to coordinate an art drop-off, or you can do it on your own. Artists of all mediums and experience levels are encouraged to participate.
Psst! Artists don’t even have to be local. Maxwell Sebastian is an out-of-state supporter who’s been involved.
“I enjoy the subversive nature of it in a way. There is also a bit of hubris involved because you’re assuming a lot out of complete strangers who may or may not be familiar with your work, or like what you make.
There is certainly a pleasure in the fact that either someone has this thing you’ve made in their house, and the only connection is this artifact that you’ve made. Or it just gets washed away in the rain, never to be seen again. Which, I suppose, is where everything winds up in the end. Either way, it’s a fun notion.”Maxwell Sebastian, Artist
Free Art Bham is all about inclusivity
According to Ashley, the response from the community and artists has been amazing. Free Art Bham is a great chance for anyone to express their creativity, no matter how they’ve shared their art in the past.
“We want everyone to have access to art. We want to show everyone that they can make art and use it to channel their inner creativity, not just to make a dollar because there is so much pressure for artists to sell.”Ashley Guest