Gallery 69 is open! It’s a Free Little Art Gallery which is sort of like a Little Free Library, but instead of books, we give away art. And if you’ve got art you want to give away we’d love to help out with that, just leave it in the gallery for someone else to enjoy. They can either take it home with them, or just admire it while it’s in the gallery.
There are a bunch of these FLAGs all over the place, not as many as libraries (yet) but you can search for one near you using freelittleartgalleries.art. (There’s also a great Smithsonian Magazine article explaining things in more detail.)
I first encountered a Free Little Art Gallery in the summer of 2022. I was out on a walk one morning and came across a large cabinet on 65th street in Wauwatosa, just north of Clarke street with a note inside explaining that it was an art gallery and would soon feature free art. I checked in on it every few days and eventually art showed up, along with a note about the opening night party! I did stop by that night and met Robin who set up the gallery. She was awesome and we talked about it a bit. I then made it a habit to visit at least once a week, and started dropping off my own art there. It was awesome.
So in 2023, I decided that for my birthday I wanted to build my own gallery. I am a thrifty midwesterner, so I gathered up the scrap wood I had lying around, found some nice shelves on the curb a few blocks away one morning (and hauled it home, which was not fun!) and while I did not finish the gallery in two days as originally planned, I did finish it in two months. Yay me.
Alright! Now we need some art! While I can certainly drop prints into the gallery when needed, I’ve already reached out to some artists I know about supplying some fine (little) art to keep it filled up.
Here’s a neat little leaf I got from another nearby gallery, located on 87th street, just south of Locust in the Cooper Park neighborhood. (Find it on Instagram.) Just like with my practice of moving books between Little Free Libraries I can see moving art between little galleries.
More random things… a print (which are actually gift tags) and some painted rocks from a free rock garden down on 69th street just north of North avenue.
Another one from the 87th street gallery, a flower card. People like flowers, right?
Here’s a print I made from a laser-etched plate I made from a photo I took of some power lines one morning. I plan to keep making more prints so come and get them if you like them!
A few more rocks from the free rock garden down on 69th street along with a small plastic piece that seems like a Shrinky Dink thing which I got from… I don’t remember! Anyway, it’s art, it’s free, and you can come and get it if you like it. Gallery 69 is located on 69th street just north of Locust street in the Enderis Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.