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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Participate in Abandoning

For about five years, there has been a grass roots movement for artists to abandon their artworks.  I have written about it before when I first began doing it as a form of guerrilla art back in 2011.  I continued to abandon artworks when I moved from my lovely art studio in Ohio to Central Florida. In the past 4 years I had sort of let my abandonment of artworks languish for the most part.

It more formally became a movement when Michael deMeng began a FaceBook group (of which I am one of over 36,000 members of artists).  Artists post pictures of the art they have made for abandonment as well as pictures of where they abandoned it.  I even have found several pieces of abandoned art myself over the years from other artists who are anonymous.

This past summer when I was teaching art camp, one of the projects my campers did during the week was to make artist trading cards and leave them to be found by others.  The lovely thing about this was that we had permission from the Orlando Museum of Art to leave the tiny artworks around the hallways and other spaces at the museum.  Some of the students were so excited to see someone pick up their abandoned pieces of artwork.  Others were loathe to leave their artwork behind.

For me, abandoning art is a very freeing process.  It enables me to do many things 1)practice non-attachment 2)see someone enjoy receiving a piece of free artwork and 3) destash some smaller pieces of art and jewelry that are ready for a new home.  I get no monetary reward from leaving these artworks and my art is not signed so no one other than myself and anyone with me when I abandon the art would even know it was mine except for any photographs I might take of the item.

Other than the summer camp abandonment, I haven't done any art abandonment for about 4 years, but I have been missing that joyful sense of release and the fun of surprise knowing that someone is going to find and either keep or share my artwork. I love the idea of an anonymous happy surprise. There is so much "not happy" surprise going on in the world today that I think we need this little random acts of kindness to jolt us back to knowing that we are here for more than just the hum-drum, ho-hum slog through life.

In fact, I think right now I'm going to go make a couple of pieces of art and prepare them to abandon. I'll slip them into my purse and when I find a place that feels like the right place, I'll find a hidey hole to leave them for someone.

May we all share our talents, find happy surprises, and release our attachments.

(c) 2017 SZing, Bohemian Art Cafe. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs courtesy Bohemian Art Cafe, All Rights Reserved.