Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Watch out for flying art!

Make that FREE flying art, rolled up and delivered this Saturday at...well, I don't know. But that's Papergirl Charlotte for you.

The organization, which started here in autumn 2009, came out of an idea in Berlin three years earlier. Aisha Ronniger began Papergirl there as a response to tightened German graffiti laws, which equated putting up art posters in public places with spraying graffiti on walls.

The manifesto is simple: "Making art for the sake of art. Giving it away for the sake of giving." (To learn about the local group, see its Facebook page at

This must be the most egalitarian art project ever. The site explains that "there are no guidelines as to quantity or format: zines, prints, drawings, paintings, photos, textiles, stickers, writings, etc. are all welcome." The only criterion is that you must be able to roll your piece up, so it can be delivered like a newspaper.

Artists can make works alone or together, in private or at public art-making sessions. They can be handed to organizer Mark Doepker or mailed to him in Huntersville. (See "about" on the site.) The pieces get assembled in a public, non-curated show on one day, then handed out the next.

They'll be on view Friday at Pura Vida Worldly Art, 3202-A N. Davidson St., which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can't buy them -- all of them must be given away on Saturday -- but you can contact an artist if you want a similar piece made.

On delivery day, bicyclists go out into the streets of Charlotte. They put bands around rolled-up artworks that explain the project and ride wherever they choose, handing pieces out to "catchers" chosen at random. There's a celebration afterward, and then the process starts all over for the following spring.

"The world needs more art and kindness," says the site, and who can argue with that sentiment? I hadn't  planned to leave the house Saturday afternoon, but now I'm wondering just where those bicycles might go....