One Lafayette boomerang is spreading the joy of art, one small piece at a time.
Writer and artist Andre Guirard–professionally known as Tyler Tork – is a Saint Martinville native who returned to Acadiana after some time in Minnesota. The son of renowned photographer and writer Greg Guirard, Andre holds a deep appreciation for Louisiana culture.
Guirard wasn’t the first to start a Free Little Art Gallery (that credit goes to Seattle’s Stacy Milrany) but he literally put them on the map, compiling an international database of FLAGs across the globe at www.freelittleartgalleries.art.
Impressively, the map holds over 100 FLAGs and Guirard says that it’s only continued to grow:
“It’s a movement that’s taking off. I’m adding them at the rate of one every two days or so.”
For Guirard, the FLAGS are an invitation for communities to cultivate and share creative space–they take away the formality, pressure and exclusivity that could come with hosting art in traditional gallery spaces.
“Anyone can leave things in the gallery, and anyone can take things from the gallery. It’s intended to be a democratization of art [and] a community project for the neighborhood.”
Guirard says that the goal is for people to play: the experience the joy of creating art while cultivating community. His gallery already boasts an impressive collection of pieces: some anonymous, some named and some of his own works.
According to the map, there are only 6 FLAGs in the state of Louisiana, one of which was operated in Moncus Park but has since become defunct–Guirard hopes to get that one back up and running.
Until then, you can visit Andre’s FLAG at 523 Roosevelt Street, Lafayette, LA or consider setting up your own with the instructions on his website.