FWFAC Turns Art Appreciation into an Adventure
Jul18

FWFAC Turns Art Appreciation into an Adventure

Sometimes you have an idea that lets you combine your most cherished passions and share them with friends. At the very least, that’s a recipe for a great pastime. But if you’re really lucky, the right idea catches on, growing into a fledgling community organization with hundreds of followers. That’s exactly what’s happened for the Fort Wayne Free Art Collective (or FWFAC). Jon and Lissa Brown initially established the organization as a simple Facebook group with a few dozen followers and a mission to make local art more accessible. To connect people with local art, they give it away, dropping donated pieces every few days in various spots throughout Fort Wayne. Once found, the art is free to any follower or passing stranger who discovers it. Each FWFAC drop is like a guerilla-style gallery opening. First, each art piece gets wrapped into an art bundle with a note explaining the mission of the FWFAC. Then Jon and Lissa choose a spot to do the “drop,” typically on the side of a building. After securing the package with blue painter’s tape, they take a photo and post it on Facebook, without revealing the drop location. Followers must use visual clues to find the art, as long as it hasn’t already been found by a lucky stranger. Each drop takes place in a new location, giving Jon and Lissa the chance to highlight unique local landmarks, historic buildings or tucked-away neighborhood spots. The unpredictability of the FWFAC process makes it exciting for everyone. “Every time we see the post from the person who makes the find, we think that it can’t possibly get more exciting or gratifying,” says Lissa. “But – it does.” As busy parents and artists themselves, Jon and Lissa describe the FWFAC as their “artistic love child.” The organization’s mission and purpose grew out of the couple’s belief that an accessible local arts scene has the power to unite our community. “We have always been passionate about the arts,” says Lissa. “When we decided to open our hearts and share that with our community, it seemed natural to share our artwork too. When others started to follow our lead, we saw that it was something that Fort Wayne was craving. So we just answered the call.” To accommodate the growing interest, the FWFAC page recently expanded from a Facebook Group into a Public Page. The influx of members means that the biggest challenge may be finding ways to let more people experience the fun of found art. “People are now starting to recognize our signature blue tape, and are looking for us on the streets,” Lissa says. “We have to be very stealthy and quick about our drops. Most...

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First Stop on Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!
Mar16

First Stop on Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!

On Thursday, April 14th, Artlink is hosting its very first Pop-Up Gallery Crawl where participants have the opportunity to take a walking art tour through downtown Fort Wayne. At each stop along the way, there will be music, food, and original 2D and 3D artwork available for purchase from a variety of local artists. The first location on the tour is the Artlink gallery itself on 300 East Main Street. At this first stop, hors d’oeuvres will be provided by The Oyster Bar, featuring the blues rock band, Left Lane Cruiser. To kickoff the Gallery Crawl, you will see paintings by Jerrod Tobias and prints and watercolors by Julie Wall Toles. At the  beginning of the Gallery Crawl, Jerrod Tobias will be displaying  variety of different pieces, including paintings and drawings as well as postcard drawings and t-shirts. His work combines different mediums such as oil painting with stencils and spray paint. By using these techniques, Tobias wants to create artwork which is colorful, rhythmic, and reflects our humanity. All the pieces he will feature at Artlink contain a similar theme. “It all comes from a folk narrative of kids and animals starting a revolution,” Tobias explains. “The Coywolf Children.” Jerrod Tobias has always been passionate about art and drawing in particular. Even at a young age, he had a drive to learn more and become better at his craft. To Tobias, “Drawing and painting are endless paths of learning. Art is a mountain that has no top.” Jerrod Tobias currently operates out of Tobias Studios, an art studio as well as a homestead. Classes and workshops for drawing, gardening, and almost everything in between are available for visitors. At Tobias Studios, they are dedicated to enriching the multiple facets of people’s lives. Jerrod Tobias has been involved in Fort Wayne’s art scene very visibly. His murals can be found across the city at Wunderkammer, Catalyst Fitness, and Trubble Brewing. “The Fort Wayne art culture is a rich and vibrant light in our community,” Tobias says. “The arts are the voice of the culture.” Here, artists like Jerrod Tobias are able to have a powerful impact on their community. To learn more about Jerrod Tobias or to get involved with Tobias Studios, visit their website at www.tobiasstudios.weebly.com. Or check them out on Facebook or Instagram.   The second artist to begin the Art Crawl is Julie Wall Toles. She will display limited edition prints created from a multitude of mediums such as intaglio, woodcut, and linoleum. Toles will also be showcasing her new watercolors of native plants to the region, specially mushrooms. Julie Wall Toles owns and works at the Hedgehog Press print shop in downtown Fort Wayne which she opened in...

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Mark Your Calendars for Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!
Mar04

Mark Your Calendars for Artlink’s Gallery Crawl!

For one evening, Artlink, a non-for-profit gallery dedicated to exhibiting diverse art and providing education for the community, is hosting its very first Pop-Up Art Gallery Crawl through downtown Fort Wayne. The event will feature local artists, musicians, and venues on Thursday, April 14 6-9 pm. Thanks to funding by The Downtown Improvement Project, this anticipated event will include a walking tour through downtown Fort Wayne where participants will see original work available for purchase in vacant businesses throughout the city. At each of these locations, music will be provided by hometown bands and singers. Food and a cash bar will also be available at every stop on the Art Crawl so participants can experience all the sights, tastes, and sounds of the city at this one-day event. Confirmed artists, musicians, and restaurants include: Artists: Jerrod Tobias Julie Wall Toles Jason Swisher Daniel Deinelt Justin Johnson Jeremy Stroup John Leavell Theopolis Smith Musicians: Alicia Pyle James & The Drifters West Central Quartet Andy Pauquette Paul Stephens Left Lane Cruiser Restaurants: Oyster Bar Bar 145 Hall’s Restaurant Calhoun Street Soups, Salads, & Spirits Stay tuned! In anticipation for the Pop-Up Gallery Crawl, Living Fort Wayne will release a series of articles about the featured artists participating in tour. Before the event in April, check out upcoming articles to learn more about individuals behind the artwork. Tickets for the April 14th Art Crawl are currently available for purchase online at www.artlinkfw/GalleryCrawl at $15 per person and $25 per couple. Wristbands will be limited to the first 500 participants. Prizes also can be won by using #GalleryCrawlFW at all locations during the event. For more information, please visit Artlink’s website. Or follow them on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and...

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