By: Radhika Panjwani – Brampton Guardian

September 21, 2015


This Friday (Sept. 25) the streets of Brampton and Mississauga will be flooded with dozens of free works of art for residents to take home.
Free Art Friday Peel, an initiative borrowed from a global idea, is one several activities happening as part of the Brampton’s Culture Days, taking place Friday through Sunday.
As part of the initiative, artists will be hiding artworks in plain sight under bridges, in transit shelters, main streets and other places as free gifts for unsuspecting passersby who stumble across them. The event runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will tags on the canvases and items letting people know they can take the stuff home.

“The art world sometimes has an elitist feel to it that implies art is only for certain people,” said James Flux, artist/coordinator for the event. “What’s nice about the Free Art Friday is that it ends up reaching a wider audience. For instance, someone who would probably never even enter a gallery, walks down the street, sees something that says, ‘free art’ and can take it to their home…I think it’s a beautiful experience.”
Flux said he has reached out to Mississauga Arts Council (MAC), Visual Arts Brampton, Peel Art Gallery, Archives and Museum (PAMA), Night and Day, an arts studio as well as others in Peel to make the event a rousing success.
The aim of three-day Culture Days celebration happening nationally including Brampton, is to encourage Canadians to take part in free, hands-on, interactive activities offered by individual artists and groups.
Residents interested in getting a head start on the art scavenger hunt can find out the general location in Mississauga or Brampton where artists have “planted” a piece of art through Instagram using the hashtag #FreeArtFridayPeel.
Nathan Wilson, 25, is one of the many that will be gifting their work for free. When he heard about a global initiative wherein artists across the world selflessly leave their work at public spaces for people to take home, he decided to check it out. So last year on a Friday, Wilson left dozens of artistic paint cans along Kennedy Road in Brampton with little notes to people explaining the concept.
“Whether you get feedback or not, you know your art is out there and somebody is going to enjoy it,” said Wilson, an acrylic/ spray paint artist. “I will putting out at least 15 cans and some canvases as well.”
He said the initiative is a great way to for an artist to get their art out there rather than showcase them through galleries.

The open call for the event was a success with dozens of Peel artists agreeing to participate.
“There’s no ego involved in this – just pure altruism,” said Flux.
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