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Street art icon Evereman comes to Detroit Friday and Saturday for special #FAFDET

Free Art Friday in Detroit

Anyone who hangs out in Detroit lately knows the power of free – free breakfast at Creative Mornings/Detroit. Free lunch at (natch) Free Lunch Fridays. And for the past year or so there has been Free Art Friday, a weekly art scavenger hunt that aims to promote creativity and exploration within those fabulous 139 square miles known as Detroit.

Now, the smart and snappy folks that brought you Free Art Friday in Detroit are taking it up a notch. Skidmore Studio, the sponsors of FAFDET, is organizing two days of art talking, making and celebrating. The highlight will be Atlanta street art icon Evereman, who will bring two community art workshops to downtown for your education and enjoyment.

Evereman street artist colorful facesIn fact, organizer Sara Frey of Skidmore says that Evereman was the inspiration for the Studio to start our very own Free Art Friday (more on that in a minute). So they were thrilled when a Kickstarter campaign and Evereman’s own schedule allowed Skidmore to bring him to town Friday and Saturday.

It all starts Friday with a daylong combo of Free Art Friday and Evereman scavenger hunt. The public receives clues via sites such as Facebook and Twitter (#FAFDET) to find free art hidden around the city. On Saturday, Evereman will give a talk about his free-art movement, host workshops where participants can create their own art and kick off his own Detroit art gallery exhibit opening at the Start Gallery.

Some background: Evereman began creating his eco-friendly art in Atlanta in 1981. He leaves his artwork around town, doing so in a way that anyone who happens upon them can just pick them up and enjoy them. Only a small message on the back – “4U” – lets the new owner known that it is theirs to take. Beyond brilliant.

Here’s how Skidmore got involved: One of its staff members was visiting Atlanta about 18 or so months ago and saw an Evereman print in the car he was riding in. He heard the story about the free art and brought it home to Detroit. Ever since, the design studio located in the historical Madison Theatre Building grabbed onto the idea and ran with it, making every Friday a race to find local artists and their artwork around the city. Trust me, when the pictures of the art and the people who find it go up on Facebook every Friday, my face nearly cracks with the smiles it brings me.

“It’s a Win-win experience all around. For the artists, they are able to create something freely, with no one particular in mind. That is such a freeing experience. Some will even wait out after they hide their picture to see who come gets it. It allows them to connect with the finder another level. It’s all about connecting art to real people in the community, encouraging them to support the arts and get creative themselves,” Frey said.

Free Art Friday in DetroitFrey, a huge scavenger hunt fan, is loving the results of Skidmore’s Free Art Fridays. Professionals and amateurs donate their work, which finds homes all across Metro Detroit. One of the Studio’s favorite outcomes was when a bride, walking to her wedding last summer, stumbled across a picture. It turned a day that was already memorable for this young woman into a kind of good-karma experience you don’t normally receive, even on your wedding day.

There will be a ton of art out there on Friday, so check it out if you’ve got some time and a few blank walls. However, you better register soon for the Saturday events. The 11 a.m. Evereman talk still has space, but you must register to attend. However, the first workshop is already full, Frey said. You can still register for the second offering – but get busy because although it is free, it isn’t going to be open forever.

Evereman’s presentation about the free art movement

Time:  11 a.m.

Address:  Ponyride building – 1401 Vermont St, Detroit, MI

You must register to attend:

Evereman art workshop #2

Time:  2 p.m.

Address:  Ponyride building – 1401 Vermont St, Detroit, MI

You must register to attend:

Evereman gallery opening and meet-and-greet

Time:  7 p.m.

Address:  Start Gallery – 206 E. Grand River, Detroit, MI

Open to the public

Exhibit runs through March 23

Work by other Free Art Friday artists will also be on display

Video interview with Skidmore Studio from the summer:

Evereman TedX Talk:


This post originally appeared on Dig Downtown Detroit and is used with permission.

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