Free Art Movement Nashville (FAFNSH) | Nashville Photographer | Anjeanette Illustration

Looking for a scavenger hunt this summer that could land you with some Free Art? A fun Geocache style game between Nashville area artists has become a huge contest around the city! Jeff Bertrand,  self proclaimed low brow middle Americana artist, has been creating in and with the non traditional art scene for years. He had been doing art trades and swaps with friends, and started making art drops for fans for a few years. I spoke with him at the super awesome solo show for our mutual friend Nashville and Watkins artist extraordinaire Brooke E of Unfriendly Things. We talked about how much we value our creative friends work, and how are nearly starving artists ourselves we cannot afford to purchase their work for what its value is- but how we (and read ME- Jeff is awesome at this) should be less shy and reserved about trading with our artist friends. This came up as we celebrated the amazing life of Brooke E who is battling breast cancer - life is so fleeting. We expressed how we wished we had some of her amazing work. I was always too introverted to ask an art hero to trade - and I deeply regret not approaching Brooke before.
Free Art movement at the Nashville, Tn Parthanon in Centennial Park
Jeff Bertrands work near the Centennial Park Parthanon




A few weeks later Jeff officially  launched the FAFNSH Facebook page and started inviting area artists to make art drops, make it a fun and creative hunt, and to invite our own art friends to participate.

"Free Art Movement Nashville is a group about sharing your art with the city. Ive been doing art drops now for years going to other cities outside of Nashville and placing small works around the different cities i visit.I leave it for others to find leaving clues and creating a hunt for art. Guess what people find the work too. When I recently visited ATL they were really involved in this. ATL has a huge volume of both hunters and droppers both loving the act of giving and loving the hunt of finding your favorite artists work." Jeff says on the Facebook page "This movement is all about building a collective of like minded artists and creatives and enthusiasts.This is more importantly about having fun and creating a fun art community and a fan base."

Artist Scott Trip of Latex Soup and Life of the Party said "I'm a professional artist. I make my living and support my family solely with my artwork and performance. This afternoon I'm setting up a booth at a market where I will be selling several hundred dollars worth of my artwork. But the part I'm most excited about is this small drawing/painting that I created specifically to hide in the rubble somewhere in hopes that someone would find it and take it home for free. The illogical logic of this group is wondrous and amazing. I've only been a member for three weeks or so, but I've already gained a lot from this group. It's part scavenger hunt and part geocaching. every Friday the city is turned into a big piñata, and we all have treasure maps and cryptic clues to guide us to our prizes."

Free Canvas painting as a part of the Nashville Free Art movement started by Jeff Bertrand
Free Art Friday gift from Niki Adams



Here is the note with work Niki Adams left for art finders. She agrees with Scott, adding "For me this movement symbolizes the breaking of the normal paths to people receiving or viewing art in the community. Personally, it affected me by hearing the story of how and why the art was acquired. That's where social media plays a huge role.
Even without learning of how the piece was found, you know that you played a small part in someone's day, hopefully for the better. And to me that's what art is."




Green Hills, TN shopping center art drop by artist Abby Coppage
Art drop by Abby Coppage of Follicle and Feather


Urban art drop requiring parkour skills in Nashville, TN as a part of FAFNSH
Joseph Jauegui invited you to scale walls for his artwork



While the art is a giving back to the other artists in the group, it is also very likely that anyone could find it. The Geocache and Harry Potter terms for anyone not in the know about a find is Muggles, and it is loose protocol to not include anyone in in the hopes that finds remain secret and undisturbed or removed. This group however embraces the general community at large, and invites them to participate if they find artwork by taking photos of themselves with and making a home for the art, and sharing their finds on social media using the hashtags ‪#‎Faf‬ ‪#‎FafNsh‬ among others. The artists then get to connect and interact with recipients via social media posts.

Some artists leave elaborate clues or locations, others snap a quick photo of a well known spot- and a flurry of activity begins as artists track down the artwork rat race style.  Several drops have had people competing to make it in time, only to arrive seconds later than another- but always with a lighthearted attitude.
Nashville tn fan favorite and one of the Johnny Cash mural artists, Audie Adams
Audie Adams put a bird on it- check him out at Erabellum Gallery



I have made a few drops myself, I am pretty sure that my first drop is living in a cart at an underpass.  A presumably homeless person was closely watching me place my first drop at Cumberland Park in Nashville so I am happy and hopeful my work found a home where it is appreciated! However, I really hope to hear back when folks find artwork. Ultimately, for me they are gifts to God and community from me.  Because while I certainly feel like my work is valuable and I do not work for 'free', these are just small gifts back, especially to my artist friends.

Anjeanettes art drop for FAFNSH at Cumberland Park downtown
My first contributions! One was found by filmmaker Paul Cain, whereabouts of the other are as of yet unknown. 




I am looking forward to a summer of searching and collecting and appreciating the vast and amazing talent offered by Nashville, Tn visual artists!


*There are 2 ways you can be involved !!!*
1. You can be the art maker/ art dropper you make art with your hashtag ‪#‎FAMN‬ (freeartmovementnashville)and leave it with clues around the city.
Leaving a hashtag like# FAMN or ‪#‎FAF‬ (which stands for free art friday) ‪#‎freeartNashville‬ this is a way hunters can find your clues and look for the work.

2. You can be the art seeker or hunter and watch for clues and find the works ( you are also the art talker the one who shares their cool adventure with friends.

Clues from artist Joe Melanson