Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Finders, Keepers, Givers and Seekers

Nicole Hyde is a full time artist, sometimes poet, one time music producer and a fantastic cook. She’s launched an experiment called the “Finders! Keepers? Art Project. Random Acts of Art in a Big, Big World”. You can see the Finders! Keepers? blog at http://fkartproject.blogspot.com

Very small, original oil paintings are dropped off in public with a note enclosed. The finder can choose to either keep the painting or pass it along.

Scott and I were charged with dropping off one of these beautiful pieces in December when we went to Kauai. It was a tiny landscape, about 4”x4”, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a white satin ribbon. Inside the package was a card with the question, “What happens to a pocket-sized piece of art when it’s left in a public place for anyone curious enough to pick it up?”

For a week, I carried the tiny landscape with me everywhere. I thought about leaving it in restaurants, on beaches, and at scenic overlooks but there wasn’t a spot that seemed just right. I didn’t want it to be rained on or overlooked. On the last day I left it at a bar by the beach on a table shaded by an umbrella. I was sorry to let the piece go into the world by itself and wondered who would find it. Would they be confused? Would they understand it? Would they love it as much as I did?

Since the project started in late December of 2006, Nicole’s paintings have been dropped in coffee shops, libraries, public parks and outside art centers. The finders who have responded have posted charming comments, reflecting delight at making such an unexpected discovery. I wonder about the rest of the pieces, who their finders are and where they ended up.

What a felicitous surprise to find a gift from a stranger and what a wonderful way for an artist to give back to an unsuspecting public. How exciting to imagine that a finder may develop a passion for collecting art so that maybe Nicole’s gift eventually brings a karmic repayment to another artist.

In the short time that I've been surfing writing Blogs and author websites, I have a similar sense of being the recipient of an unexpected gift. I've learned so much from the generous writers and literary agents and artists who take the time to post and share their insights and experiences that I continue to revise and refine my approach to writing and learning to manage my time. I'm always surprised at the kindness of those who have found a way to live their dream, but I'm starting to understand I shouldn't be. Maybe that generosity is a fundamental part of the equation.


Nic said...

Yeehaw! I just read this and thank you so much for featuring Finders! Keepers?

I, too, wonder where the little pieces have ended up - why the Finder didn't write in. But whatever the reasons they don't, I'm still extraordinarily happy to unleash the art into the world.


Lisa said...


I've envisioned people sneaking up on them and looking all around to see if anyone is watching before stashing them into a pocket or purse. I suspect in this day and age where we're all so jaded we can't believe there's anything with no strings attached (like the finder who wrote and asked you if he had to buy anything) that it's hard for a lot of people to comprehend that sometimes there really are gifts given with nothing expected in return.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf