Imagine walking through an art gallery and going up to a piece you've been admiring, readying yourself for the sticker shock -- and the price is $0. Would you take it? Would it cause you to view the piece differently? It's precisely the social context surrounding art and its perceived value that lead to the Free Art Project, an idea from East Bay artist and professor Dickson Schenider.
The project originated when Schenider sought to connect his students with viewers, and brought them to Oakland's Art Murmur to give away art. This exchange led to him to give away his own pieces as a commentary on the intersection of socioeconomic factors of access to art in accordance with privilege and income level.
"I consider this work to be serious commentary on the social/political world of contemporary art," says Schneider. "It is my exploration and critique of status, privilege, and access in a society dominated by monetary concerns. It is also a strange experience for the viewing public -- how do you value something that is free?"
Since its inception five years ago, Schenieder has create 2800+ pieces of art that have appeared at the various Free Art Projects; this installation will feature mostly 2D drawings that will range in size from 12-30 inches.
Schenider will unveil "Rhyme nor Reason" at Paolo Mejia Art Gallery on November 3 (1-6 p.m.), and the walls will reflect a changing landscape of art, as pieces are removed by "buyers" until Nov 16.