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Free art Tuesday in Carstairs, Olds for International Art and Found Day

Olds, Carstairs-area artists hiding art in various locations for people to find and take home for free
International Art and Found Day is on March 12. Screenshot

If you’re looking for some free artwork in Olds and Carstairs, Tuesday, March 12 could be your lucky day.

That’s because on that day, as part of International Art And Found Day, artists in both communities will be hiding original artworks for people to find and keep.

Carstairs-area resident Gwen Day is once again offering up an original painting.

This will be her third year participating in the fun community event.

Under the program, artists hide a piece of their art somewhere in the community – in Day’s case, in the town of Carstairs – and give clues leading up to the day as to where the piece can be found.

Each piece is carefully packaged and marked with the hashtag #ArtandFoundDay. Inside each package is a note with information about the piece and the artist.

“It’s always been really fun,” said Day.

Clues as to the location of Day’s painting can be found on her Facebook page and Instagram, at gwendayart.

Anyone who finds those pieces is encouraged to tag @ArtandFoundDay

Olds artist Lorene Runham will have hidden eight pieces of her art in Uptowne Olds for people to find and take home.

This is the second time Runham has participated in International Art And Found Day. She did so last year as well.

Runham plans to hide eight pieces of her art in Uptowne because she wants to give people the best chance to find them and this year, International Art And Found Day falls on a week day.

Last year, it fell on a Sunday, so she hid six of her artworks around grocery stores, and that was successful.

International Art And Found Day began about seven years ago when Toronto artist Courtney Senior, who was just starting her career, decided to give her art away for free.

She packaged her original artworks and left them in different neighbourhoods in Toronto for people to find.

Each piece had a note on the outside that read “Hello, I’m an original abstract painting in need of a loving home. FREE ART #ArtandFound.”

During an interview with the Albertan, Runham said all eight of her pieces will be digital prints.

“I do collage work on the computer and so I printed off some of those images,” she said.

Runham was asked why she would want to give some of her art away for free rather than sell it as part of making a living.

“Well, one does (want to make money selling art), but sharing it is probably the biggest thrill -- that you know, the people would actually want it. It's just fun to give (to) people this way,” she said.

“I think it's with anybody who does creative work like an artist; whether you're a cake decorator or what, you want people to eat that cake or you want people to enjoy what you have created -- or even a quilter, they want to see that quilt being used. So I want to see the art being taken home and then (appreciated).”

Runham said she has lots of prints so that helped make the decision as to what she would provide.

She said she may hide them in doorways or adjacent to benches in Uptowne.

Runham anticipates that all her free works will be gone by noon because that’s what happened last year.

“They were picked up and gone because I because I went around and I took a picture of where I had placed everything,” she said.

“Then at noon I went around to see they were still there and they were all gone and nobody phoned and said they didn't want it, because all my information was in with the art piece.”

Runham learned about International Art And Found Day on Facebook.

“An artist in Didsbury, was participating,” she said. “I thought ‘ohh she's doing that? I think I will too.”

“It's kind of fun. I like it -- kind of sneaking around,” Runham said. “It’s kind of fun to see that people pick these things up.”

She said the pieces probably get picked up because although people might be wary of picking up any old package left lying around, these ones are clearly marked, stating what the event is all about.

Runham was asked if she’s tempted to hide somewhere nearby and see what happens with her packages.

“I am, yes,” she said. “Maybe I'll just get a couple of coffee and just sit on the sidelines in my car.”

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