Could I be any luckier than to live in southwest Florida where a late September day can be spent in the sunshine on a bicycling adventure. It’s still hot here, but you can feel a tiny tinge of fall in the air, which mainly means that it doesn’t feel totally like an oven outside. This past weekend we decided to take the opportunity to start our ride from our house and ride over to Longboat Key taking Gulf of Mexico Drive north into Bradenton and onto the Cortez Fishing Village for lunch. And as an added bonus, we abandoned art along the way, it was super fun!

Sarasota bayfrontWhy abandon art, you ask? Well, I discovered this group on Facebook (huge group – over 33,000 members) and they make and leave art in places all over the world. The stories are so inspiring that I just couldn’t wait to do it myself. Mike was on board too, as expected, so we picked some pieces we had made over the years but no longer had a place to display. Thought it would be cool to leave them for others to enjoy.

Art Abandonment has some tags you can print that explains why the art is being left behind. I printed them out and we attached them to our art which were packed in plastic bags to keep them safe and clean.

Abandoned Art on Longboat Key

The first drop was at Joan Durante Park on Longboat Key. We had stopped at this park in the past, so I knew it would have good places to leave a piece of art. There was a lovely gazebo in the center of the park where I left my collage for a lucky recipient. We were careful to leave it while no one was around so we could keep the element of surprise.

Pirate Ship art abandonment

Next was a drop in Cortez Village and it could not have worked out more perfect. Armed with a collage about fishing, I figured a fishing village was the perfect place. It got even better when I turned the corner and there parked in someone’s yard was a pirate ship. Well, it was a parade float, but a pirate ship nonetheless. When given the opportunity to leave free art on a pirate ship, one must take advantage. I leaned my bike against a stop sign and was unpacking the art from my pannier when Mike alerted me to a guy walking his dog. Not wanting to be detected, we decided to come back by the ship after lunch and drop it then, which we did.

Little library art abandonment

We still had Mike’s art to drop and he was waiting for the perfect place, and there it was…a little lending library box on the side of the road. With glass doors, his art fit in perfectly and was visible for its lucky finder.

We had so much fun stealthily dropping the art, and thinking about other cool places to leave our works, we can’t wait to do it again!

These abandonments reminded us when Mike did something similar on our trip to France and Ireland 3 years ago. He brought a bunch of his own photographs and left them all over both countries. Even though he had his contact information on the back of each photo, we never heard from anyone. Also, I often leave little bottle caps in fun places, but hadn’t thought of it as abandoning art, I was just sharing joy.

I am so grateful to have found this group and enjoy reading about the other artist’s works and their interesting drop locations. Occasionally I see where a recipient posts a thank you on the group Facebook page. If you are an artist, or someone who just wants to brighten someone else’s day, check out their page and consider joining the group yourself.

Happy abandoning and happy cycling!

Bicycling and art abandonment