Monday, April 2, 2012

Overview (DRAFT)

This is a very rough, preliminary, just for visualization purposes: a cardboard prototype of an XXS indoor Little Free Art Gallery (not weatherproof like the outside installations)

Little Free Art Gallery
Project Overview DRAFT 2 April 2012 (begun 16 March)

Note: All feedback welcome. The project vision continues to evolve, with issues yet to clarify and challenges to overcome.

Our Mission
To promote art making and the love of art by building free art exchanges worldwide.
To build a sense of community and deepen our understanding of the world around us, as we inspire and help each other to make and share art.

What is the Little Free Art Gallery Project?

Locally, it is a grassroots movement that spreads by word of mouth as one then another person chooses to install a Little Free Art Gallery and use it to distribute original works of art for free in the neighborhood or community.

Globally, it is a Web-based membership organization for artists and art lovers, free to all to join and use.

On the Web, Little Free Art Gallery Project tracks which works of art have been donated by which artists, following them (on the project blog and map; via email follow-up, or by tracking RFID and/or QR code tags on the art work) to see where they go: stories to be shared online.

The Little Free Art Gallery Project can also download/stream new art works, video, and other digital media, to Web-connected Little Free Art Gallery kiosks equipped to present digital interactive multimedia art experiences.

What is a Little Free Art Gallery?

A Little Free Art Gallery is a box (weatherproof if installed outdoors) with one or more windows and a door that viewers can open, where artists exhibit original works that they intend to give for free to any art-lover who wants to take it.

A Little Free Art Gallery box might look something like Little Free Library but with smallish works of art instead of books on the shelf.
The art works can be physical, digital, or both, depending on the capabilities of the installation.

Properly equipped and integrated to the Internet, Little Free Art Gallery serves as node and waystation in a global free art exchange network that connects artists and art-lovers in an ever-expanding creative sharing circle. Little Free Art Gallery installations serve as sites where artists and art lovers interact and foster community-building and the spread of creative skills through the free exchange of art.

Can a Little Free Art Gallery sell art works as well as give them away?

With the addition of a key pad for password entry, a Little Free Art Gallery becomes, in effect, an art vending machine, to distribute free or paid works of art.

1. Scan QR code with smartphone or tablet
2. Become a member of the Little Free Art Gallery Project
3. Receive key pad password code.
4. Key in password code, 

4b.Key in payment info (if purchase; coupon or daily deal or other promo code if free)
4c.Retrieve art work from Little Free Art Gallery
5. Later, recipient can pin the art work's location on the map at the Little Free Art Gallery web site.

Why would artists who can sell their works want to give away an original art work for free?

To take part in an innovative public art project that calls into question the value of an original work of art in a world where most people never purchase art and where they have grown accustomed to consuming large quantities of art and other media on the Internet, especially on Facebook and elsewhere in social media.
To help new potential patrons discover an artist whose work they may want to collect

To get publicity 

To increase sales.  
Sales of participating artists’ art works and attendance at their art-related events will increase as more people connect with and get to know the artists in their midst, after this easy, non-intimidating introduction provided by the Little Free Art Gallery.

Business Model

The Little Free Art Gallery project relies on voluntary contributions of original art works, time, money, and other resources as it works to develop revenue streams that can sustain operations.

Little Free Art Gallery project provides free downloads of plans and specifications that people can use to design and built their own Little Free Art Gallery kisoks. The project earns profit from the sales of a deluxe printed and color-illustrated version of Little Free Art Gallery kiosk plans & specifications.

The project also earns a commission on the sale of Little Free Art Gallery kisoks designed and built by participating artists.

Paid and in-kind sponsorship programs, display advertising (on the LFAG kiosks and online) and licensed merchandise featuring the LFAG logo generate revenues, too.

Every studio, gallery, museum, retail location that sells art supplies and tool, schools, cafes, and other locations or organizations that serve artists and art lovers, can benefit from installing a Little Free Art Gallery.

Little Free Art Gallery Project is a work of art, too

The Little Free Art Gallery Project is also an art work itself. Each Little Free Art Gallery box is an art object, designed by an artist, as well as the individual art works displayed within. The interaction between a person and a Little Free Art Gallery amounts to a conceptual art performance that can be scripted in advance to a certain degree, and which can be streamed to online audiences, and recorded for later viewing or other artistic use.

XXS Little Free Art Gallery

An extra-small version, made of recycled materials (to keep cash cost low-to-no), just big enough to contain a single art work + label with brief info about the project + QR code link to project web site.
I was thinking this could be a way to introduce the project publicly.

After an initial network of permanent Little Free Art Gallery kiosks is installed (no matter how few nodes, more than 1 is a network!), the participating artists could make some of these XXS Little Free Art Gallery boxes and put them out in public in locations where art lovers have a chance of encountering them. As such, making and placing these little boxes out and about, enters the sphere of outlaw street art.

Adding a geocaching element could turn the installation into a public competition.

Photographs and videos of these XXS boxes and the process of installing them would be shared on the project blog as well as in social media (Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.). Plus an out-bound public relations effort to get news of the project to interested journalists and bloggers so they can in turn write about it for their audiences.

These single-serving Little Free Art Gallery boxes each with 1 art work inside, could also be a product that the project markets and sells (from the project web site and via a variety of online and other distribution channels), in addition to t-shirts, caps, and other merchandise carrying the Little Free Art Gallery project logo.

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