Ridgefield Letter: Weathering the Pandemic with Free Public Art

I started Ridgefield Art on Main in 2018 (not to be confused with the Art Walk). It was just a small group of artists who wanted to bring fine art to everyone.
It was a ton of effort but during the pandemic, Art on Main got shut down entirely. The newly founded RPAC Gallery on Main shut down to the public as well, and my studio was closed, so I doubled down on making art publicly.
I was doing sidewalk chalk drawings in downtown Ridgefield, usually outside, in front of RPAC Gallery.
When everyone was having a difficult time, the broad, colorful images brought a smile to people's faces. As they passed by, and many were expressing their admiration. It became a way to connect during a period of isolation and to experience culture when all cultural events were on hold. The children's reaction was the best of all. It is such a rare experience for children to connect directly to an art piece; some even grabbed some chalk and started drawing alongside me.
It was such a great experience, that I continued doing it once things opened up, weather and time permitting. It provides an ongoing way for everyone to experience art, even people who've had no prior interest in it.
Art on Main never returned, instead we evolved as a result of the pandemic, into an art leasing program run in collaboration with RPAC, a program that brings art directly to people's homes.
We're asking nominal fees in an effort to make art accessible to a larger audience, to bring art to people who've maybe had an interest, but always found it prohibitive.
There's also an opportunity for in-depth art education that comes along with the program, through discussion and advice delivered by professional artists and curators along the way.


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