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...

Read More