July 13, 2021 freelittleartgallery_ws1

Maybe there were fewer people passing by on those HOT days we had in the past few weeks, but items have not been moving as quickly through the gallery!! These are are what have been displayed since the last update:

June 19, 2021 free little art gallery_ws1 Update

Since June 2nd, these are the new items I was able to photograph:

This is a wood-turned vessel with stand and a wood-burning… both by Mark Pashayan!

A FULL gallery on June 19, 2021!!

MaKe ART, TaKe ART, LeAvE ART!!!! Join the fun and tell your friends too!!

June 2, 2021 flag_ws1 update

It is absolutely amazing the amount of art that moves through the free little art gallery! I can’t believe I did an update two weeks ago and just had to upload so many new images!

Full Gallery!!

June 2, 2021: Just may need a larger gallery space with angled side walls???? Always good to dream!! Remember to TaKe ArT!! MaKe and LeAvE Art!!

May 19, 2021 flag_ws1

So what’s been added since the May 2nd update?? The weather has definitely gotten warmer so more people are walking by, many stopping to view the gallery. There are some neighborhood kids really jazzed about the exchange; it is so rewarding to see their excitement!!

Hope to see you on the street enjoying the gallery, taking art, or placing art!!! I’d love to start getting photos of happy gallery viewers and donors 😉

May 2, 2021 in the free little art gallery_ws1

Wow, quite a few new items from unknown artists showed up in the gallery today!!

Other new items since the last update:

Be sure to follow freelittleartgallery_ws1 on Instagram for more immediate posts of new items in the gallery!! I also make the effort to share new items on Facebooks’s West Highlands Neighborhood, West End Association, and Ardmore Neighborhood pages. Please message me if you think there are other FB pages I should post on.

FLAG April 22, 2021 Update

It’s been a busy month with increasing donations and more people willing to TaKe ART!!! An easel went missing but was returned, and just this week, my favorite art patron, Sassy, returned to the gallery.

Here are some of the items displayed/taken from the gallery this past month. There may be some I missed if I didn’t get out there soon enough! It’s been especially fun having kids excited and participating in the art-making and exchanging. We even had a tumbling session on the lawn one evening. 🙂

March 18, 2021 FLAG update

Ah, the small easel went missing on Tuesday the 16th, I believe 😦

The installation of the Free Little Art Gallery_WS1 was on March 4th, and the official ‘opening’ was on March 5th! I created an instagram account for the gallery @freelittleartgallery_ws1 and also posted on my SusanAndreArt FB page, FB pages for West Highlands and Ardmore neighborhoods, DENT Creative Reuse Center & Art Laboratory and other Winston-Salem FB groups.

After only one day, local potter Dee Edelman contributed a tiny pot which I installed on a pedestal (a top from an aerosol can). It looked great! I added a ceramic Celtic heart by Charlotte artist, Timmy Hord @hordstudio:

There were contributions from local Ardmore artists Ginny Campbell and Sean Erbe:

I filled in an open area with a gelli plate print and encouraged passersby to TAKE ART!!

Other Winston-Salem artists installed pieces in the freelittleartgallery_ws1:

A small stoneware dish from Estonia was added to the FLAG_ws1, and Debbie Page Harris who has Free2BeeLoved tiny art gallery in Spartanburg, SC sent a gorgeous print. An unknown artist added a small book with a wise saying:

So, make art. Take art. Give art!!! The freelittleartgallery_ws1 is OPEN FOR ENJOYMENT!!

Free Little Art Gallery-Winston Salem

In January 2021, I happened upon a CNN story about a Seattle artist, Stacy Milrany http://milrany.com, who put a free little art gallery in front of her house to help spread joy in her neighborhood during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a wonderful way to foster connection for residents who choose to partake of the art or to donate some art.

Stacy Milrany next to her FLAG

I love projects that involve ‘the street’ so I sent the story to an artist/builder friend who immediately volunteered to build one that weekend!!! I had to put a governor on his gas pedal so I could do some research, consider the logistics, and make some plans. His creative energies surged into early construction.

Meanwhile, I began to build some awareness and anticipation for the coming free little art gallery on social media. I also needed to update my website to include a blog section just for the Free LittleAart Gallery, winston salem (FLAG_winston salem). It will be here and/or on my Instagram page @SusanAndreArt that I’ll regularly post photos of the artwork that passes through the gallery. It is my hope that people contribute all kinds of things: sketches, poems, paintings, experimentations, photos, drawings, doodles, small quilts (?), and who knows what else??!

The FLAG is now painted and has been out in my backyard so I can see what happens when it rains. There seems to be a bit of water that gathered under the door so I think we’ll remove the front ‘porch’ before installing it in the front yard, probably next week. It’s been an exciting whirlwind of preparation, and I mocked up some gallery arrangements:

2-26-2021 Update: Made a few minor adjustments to the gallery box yesterday like removing the ‘porch’ and changing the location of the knob. I need to sand a bit more off the bottom of the door and stain the sanded areas. Scheduled installation next Wednesday, March 3rd so probably grand opening the next day??

Pay Attention

Out early on a foggy morning with my canine companion, I looked up and caught sight of this small web in the branches of a dogwood tree. Sheer magic that literally took my breath away!! I could see other smaller webs and single strands all made visible by the moisture and angle of the light. I imagine they’ve been there, just hidden and unseen until that moment. I recognize how easily I could have passed by without seeing these gems.

There are SO MANY parallel universes! I’ve always loved to look up at the trees as I walk and have noticed leaf shapes, leaf colors, tree shapes, tree bark, and tree dances in the wind. Within each of those observations are layers unseen: the movements of elements, and molecules, and energy. Where my attention goes, so does my awareness.

Pay attention. Be awake.

Pay attention. There is magic all around us.

My Aunt Pat

Start from where you are

Not from where you wish to be.

The work you’re doing

Becomes your path.

–Ram Dass

I wish these words had entered my awareness sooner than 2020!

December 2017, I had just helped my father move for the fifth time in four years and admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted. I wanted to return to studio practice for much-needed rest and rejuvenation. Then my aunt died suddenly mid-December, and I was awash with a grief that took me totally by surprise.

Aunt Pat in one of her favorite RED sweaters.

I had been my aunt’s power of attorney for five years, assisting her with legal affairs; shopping; numerous emergency room visits; hip surgery and rehab; and the sorting and dispersal of belongings for her move to an assisted living facility. For all of this, it was a ten-hour drive each way for me. After agreeing to move to assisted living only eight miles from me in North Carolina, she fell and fractured her pelvis the night before I was arriving to load her remaining belongings and begin our 2-day drive to NC. It was necessary to quickly find an acceptable rehab facility and convince the NC assisted living to hold her room.

And then… And then…

Sigh. Breathe in. Breathe out.

In addition to those more stressful lowlights, and more importantly, I usually enjoyed her company and spent pleasurable hours working on jigsaw puzzles, laughing, chatting, sitting together quietly, having lunch with card games at my house, or going to restaurants for lunch.

Card Shark Aunt Pat. She loved whooping my dad and me in Rummy 500! It used to be scotch on the rocks or wine, but at this point, she was sipping lemonade, coke, and water. Winning can make you so thirsty 😉

In addition, and to be honest, I was also the recipient of much of her anger and confusion during those five years. She could say the meanest and most-cutting things. An assisted-living staff tried to soothe my tears, saying it was common for the primary caregiver to receive the full assault. Hearing that on an intellectual level didn’t always reduce or eliminate my emotional responses though. It was challenging to NOT take those moments personally.

All this to say that I had a complicated relationship with a strong, independent woman who wanted “to live longer than Mama,” which she did when she breezed by 93. We planned her finances for longevity, and she bounced away from the precipice so many times I believed she’d live to 100 for sure! That’s why, during that final ER visit and return to her home, I thought she would rally. I really did. She was ‘only’ 96 years old, for goodness sake!

Grief is confusing, distracting, and paralyzing. It rises and falls, ebbs and flows.

I shifted into learning how to be an executor to settle my aunt’s estate. My art practice reduced to a small pilot light within.

ALL OF THIS was my path at the time. Not what I had imagined, or planned, or hoped for… but what LIFE presented. My path became how I chose to respond to life’s circumstances, an idea I’d been exposed to through meditation practice and sangha. No sense being frustrated and angry “waiting for my life to start when this is over.” Rather…

‘Start from where I am,

not where I wish to be.

The work I’m doing IS my path.’


P.S. My intention for this post was NOTHING close to what you’ve read!! I guess Aunt Pat wanted to visit again; she would have been 99 this month.

A real beauty!!