I love art. I also love random acts of kindness, like the post-it note pay-it-forward phenomenon happening at a pizzeria in Philadelphia. So how about this group of kind-spirited folks who go by the name of Art Abandonment? They are coupling guerrilla art with RAOKs in a beautiful way. Instead of grand installations of art for the public eye, the members of this group make individual pieces and leave them for others to randomly find. I absolutely adore the idea that I might stumble upon a creative token that was left behind simply to brighten my day.
The man at the helm of this endeavor is Michael deMeng, who’s been abandoning sketched napkins and charcoal drawings for the past decade in Eugene, Oregon. He says the idea started when he posted a few pictures of his abandonments on Facebook and friends who saw them starting encouraging him to create a group that might connect like-minded abandoners. That move gained momentum, and now Art Abandonment is happening all across the globe; the current membership of this particular group on Facebook totals around 25,000 people! The group is open to everyone, and even if you never create a single thing to abandon, it’s such a great feel-good site to browse.
Traditional pieces of art like painting and drawings abound, but members also abandon jewelry, pottery, garden and home décor, books and zines, and even rocks! Whole families are getting involved (I noticed a clay figure created and abandoned by a 7-year-old) and abandoning their art in libraries, parks, restaurants, subways … anywhere there might be a flow of pedestrian traffic. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sad and tragic news of the world, visit the Art Abandonment Facebook page for a pick-me-up. And if you want to join in, you’ll find all the details on the Facebook page as well.
It’s a nice reminder that there are good people doing good things all across the world.