Free public book boxes have been popping up around neighborhoods over the past decade, giving kids and adults access to books. They can take a book or leave a book. Now imagine that same concept but with art.
The Little Art Box, located in the Haymount neighborhood, showcases local art from kids and adults alike. You can put in what you’d like and take something if you love it.
Meredith Talian, the creator and curator of the Little Art Box, came up with the idea after seeing a woman in Seattle do a similar project. Talian thought about making something similar for Fayetteville.
Last September, the Arts Council gave a mini-grant to the Little Art Box that supported a local carpenter to build the box and art supplies for the box. In January, the box was open for business.
“I've had people at it every single day,” Talian said.
People can put in anything they or someone else has created — a piece of art, a handmade craft, a child’s creation, a plant cutting, or anything creative.
This tiny community gallery is a place for professional artists, kids, hobbyists, amateurs, and just about anyone who can paint on paper, color a rock or make a cute little pot.
“I was most excited when the very first person put something in about, I want to say, like an hour after I posted that it was open. I had a lady come by and put cuttings in, and I thought that was really, really special."
"We've had a lot of bead art that's been really cute, like little keychains, and those have been really popular. So that's been really fun. And then I had my first piece by an actual artist,” Talian said.
Those who walk or drive by the box can also take a piece of art home with them.
“When you just take stuff like you don't have to keep it forever, [you can] just enjoy it. Do whatever you want with it, and kids are just going to keep putting it out there. So that's the biggest thing is just getting people to take stuff from it. But that's getting better too. People are taking things, so it's fun.”
Below the main box is a drawer with craft and art supplies for kids and adults.
Talian is doing themes for the different months for the art kits. For February, there are watercolor postcard kits, ideal for sending someone love.
“The art supplies go pretty fast,” Talian remarked. “I've gotten donations just dropped off at my door of art supplies. That's been great.”
People can also donate or buy supplies to help keep the Little Art Box stocked. These supplies can be paint, glue sticks, leftover construction paper, or whatever art supplies you want to donate. There is also an Amazon wishlist for their monthly craft kits, which can be accessed at https://amzn.to/3lcRnp7.
Updates on the Little Art Box can be seen on Facebook and Instagram at @thelittleartboxfayetteville. The Little Art Box, which is open at all hours, is located at 221 Woodcrest Road.