Small Free Art Gallery in Heights a Success | Community

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The pedestrians of Highland Street in the Heights were no doubt enthralled with another riff on the Little Free Library – a small free art gallery with a sign that read ‘Welcome to the Freest Smallest Art Gallery on the Heights. ! Or at least on this street. Feel free to take a piece or leave a piece – or both.

The gallery came into being when resident Beth Sorensen saw an article online at a Free Little Art Gallery in Austin.

“The idea of ​​building and installing one on our street was floating in my head,” she said. “A few months later, I went to visit my 99 year old grandmother in Chattanooga, TN. We frequently mailed her art that my daughter made, and I noticed that all the art we sent her was displayed all over her house – on her fridge, on the fireplace mantel, wherever there was. had space to hang his art.

Sorensen reflected on the power of art, whatever it is.

“[My grandmother] like many others, spent most of 2020 in his home, ”Sorensen said. “She told me that putting art in place makes her home a happy place. I thought that maybe there were other people who could enjoy a little happiness in their house.

In May 2021, Sorensen and her four-year-old daughter Ava set up their gallery in a box mounted in their garden. Her husband Carl built the box with help from Ava. It was an immediate hit.

Sorensen said that every few days people add or take things out of the gallery.

“Some days are busier than others,” she said. “We have so many creative kids and adults in our neighborhood, it’s always exciting to go see what’s new. Some of my favorite things have been seeing all the different mediums, such as watercolors, origami, and small pieces of pottery.

Summer Quiñones, an art teacher at Travis Elementary School, has contributed a few paintings and encourages her students to add work to them.

Sorensen said it’s not just neighborhood artists who are contributing.

“One day, while I was on the porch, I saw the Amazon delivery guy taking pictures from the gallery,” she said. “I went out to talk to him and he told me he enjoys drawing and painting in his spare time. A few days later, he filed a really cool design that he did. He was really glad he posted it somewhere.

Ava, who loves art, is also constantly creating things to add to the gallery.

“She also loves the surprise of seeing what people put in there, as well as meeting new friends,” Sorensen said. “She convinced her grandparents in Canada to make and send parts. It was really fun for her.

Sorensen is happy that the family project resonates with people and gives them a showcase for their imaginations, she said.

“My favorite thing is seeing the talent and creativity in people,” she said. “It’s amazing. I hope 2020 has taught us to slow down and realize some of those parts that are inside of us.”


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