I was approached by Torben Breitkopf, he is 20 years old, freshman at Duquesne University for Integrated Marketing Communication. He is originally from Cologne Germany but moved to Mt. Lebanon a few years ago. This article was for his Multi-platform Newsroom 1 class in which he had to choose a story to write an article about. he has been following various photographers for a while and he chose the FreeArtPGH movement. The interview is as follows...
Nowadays every person with a smart phone considers themselves a photographer, but for the photographers who put their heart into the art of photography it is much more than just posting a vertical photo of a dog playing with a kitten on social media.
One of these photographers is local Ian Jones, who has over 700 photographs accumulated on his Instagram with a following that loves his wide array of photography of portraits, street photography and many more. As a local photographer, Jones is aware of the talent that this city has and wanted to do something to bring light to these individual with a movement called ‘FreeArtPGH’.
“The concept I had in mind originally was to just get people together and spread something good around the city”, said Jones. “For me, when I made my first drop and watched someone pick it up, watching them get a smile on their face. It brought such joy to me knowing that their day just got better, and that they know about me now, a piece of my work will now forever be a piece of their home, their life and it’s going to be a good conversation piece for them”
The main idea of FreeArtPGH is for local artists and photographers to donate a print of theirs and hide it throughout Pittsburgh for people to find. Ian Jones, who runs the Instagram account, drops hints of where the next print will be hidden and ultimately posts a picture on the feed or the story of the hidden print.
“So far to date, I would have to guess around 30 drops have been made”, said Jones. “I have already started planning another drop for April 1st. We’ll have a special guest showing up to get some coverage of this one. So, you’ll have to watch out for that”.
As this movement continues to grow, Jones is surprised by the reaction from the community. “The community is coming together in a way that I never thought. I had artists and photographers actually wanting to give their art away. I had people comment saying it’s such a great idea and my girlfriend Mackenzie Clark actually cried when the person who found her piece posted it and had such nice words to say. It just touched everyone, I didn’t expect that”.
The FreeArtPgh movement is a recent movement, yet with the current trajectory it will be something that will only benefit the community in Pittsburgh in the long run. “It gets people out from behind a screen and mindlessly scrolling and double tapping photos. This allows people to get outside, search for something and then if they are lucky enough, physically touch something and cherish it forever”.
For more details and on opportunities to get involved with this movement, visit the FreeArtPGH page above.