Napanee artists share their works for Art and Found Day

Lisa Ray Koenig’s art, packaged and ready for Art and Found Day. Submitted photo.

Napanee area residents may be lucky enough to happen upon an artistic surprise this weekend. The Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association (GNAAA) will be participating in the Art and Found Day this year, on Saturday, Mar. 12, 2022, with local artists placing original works of art throughout their community, free for the taking!

“Imagine just casually strolling through a park, or the downtown area and you see a package that says ‘Free Art’,” says Lisa Ray Koenig, a Napanee artist. “How exciting would it be to take that package home to unwrap it to find an original piece of art!”

“I would much rather have my artwork on someone else’s wall for them to enjoy than my own,” Koenig expressed. “I hope that those who find the masterpieces throughout Napanee appreciate the work that goes into each creation.”

This year marks the second annual International Art and Found Day, a day when thousands of free artworks from artists all over the world will be placed within their local communities for neighbouring residents to find.

According to the Art and Found website, the concept was created seven years ago by Toronto artist Courtney Senior. Before she found her footing in the world of selling art, Senior decided to find loving homes for her work by giving it away for free. She would package up her original artworks and leave them around different neighbourhoods in Toronto for people to find. Each artwork came with a note on the outside that read “Hello, I’m an original abstract painting in need of a loving home. FREE ART #ArtandFound.”

With the hashtag and personalized note on the inside, dozens of residents have contacted Senior over the years sharing their excitement and gratitude for their new piece of artwork, the website states. Realizing the impact this had on the community and the keen interest of fellow artists to join in this initiative, Senior formalized the idea, and Art and Found Day was born.

Participating artists choose one or more artworks to share — and there is virtually no limit on the type of art that can be shared. Works can range from paintings, photographs, drawings, handmade items, to music albums and other multi-media pieces. Each piece is packaged up safely and clearly marked with the hashtag #ArtandFoundDay with an additional note on the inside with information about the piece and the artist.

“As a new artist it is advantageous to get your artwork/name out there, and this is a fun way to do it,” Koenig stated. “The Art and Found Day phenomenon was introduced to me by another local artist, Joanne Kells Chalmers, and I thought, ‘What fun!’ So I brought this event to the members of the GNAAA figuring the more the merrier — and the more artwork to be found!”

Several members of the GNAAA will be participating, Koenig shared. The list includes Jeanne Hudson, Joanne Kells Chalmers, Gerry Hogaboam, Marion Morgan, Diane Cote, Marion Janssens, Catherine Howard, Tammy Hood, Karen Rochon, and Koenig herself.

“I believe it’s important to support the community that has supported your art endeavours, and by giving away free artwork you open yourself to a new audience, an audience that may not know about your creative distractions,” she stated.

For more information, visit the Art and Found website.

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