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On Free Art Friday, anyone can be an art collector in St. Petersburg


Times Art Critic

Look sharp if you're in downtown St. Petersburg on Friday. Free art that's yours for the taking will be randomly placed around town.

Free Art Friday is part of a large, loose movement nationally and internationally. There are no rules, just goodwill on the part of artists who place their works in unexpected places to be discovered and taken by unknown passers-by.

Local artist Coralette Damme spearheads the Friday event and has commitments from about a dozen artists but said she isn't sure of an exact number because "anybody who wants to participate can."

It's a subversive act that upends the traditional way people collect art, by admiring an artist's work and buying it.

Artists like Damme see the giveaway as something fun and a way to get art into the hands of people who might not collect it.

The Free Art Friday zone they'll be "canvassing" includes the 600 block of Central Avenue and the larger swath between Seventh Street and Beach Drive from First Avenue N to First Avenue S. Some placements will be obvious — a sidewalk bench, for example — and others more creative. (Hint: Look in trees.) The placements will be staggered from morning through the evening hours.

The artist's email or website will be attached to the works so finders can contact the artist if they want. You're asked to take only one work, but if you see something you like better than your original find, it's fine to swap them.

The photographs you see here were taken during another free art hide-and-seek.

Happy hunting!

Lennie Bennett can be reached at or (727) 893-8293.

On Free Art Friday, anyone can be an art collector in St. Petersburg 05/02/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 4:30am]
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