What’s a Free Little Art Gallery?
A Free Little Art Gallery — “FLAG” for short — is like a Little Free Library, but for small artworks instead of books. If you see something in the gallery you like, take it home. Or create something you want to share, and leave it for someone else to take away and love.
An important difference between Little Free Libraries and FLAGs is that people who put a book into a Little Free Library, generally didn’t write the book themselves. FLAGs are about encouraging people to create art.
The Free Little Art Gallery movement is about the idea that everyone can do art, and anyone can own art. You don’t need a degree or money, just a desire to create something of beauty or meaning or to make people laugh. There are a wonderful variety of things in these galleries — some from professional artists, some from talented amateurs, some from folks who are probably very young. Just like you don’t have to be a professional to go out dancing, you don’t have to be a professional to make art. People do it to please themselves and to please others.
Share your FLAG story!
If you’re a gallery operator, artist, or patron, we’re looking for stories about your experiences with Free Little Art Galleries, to appear on this website. Like the FLAGs themselves, what you get out of it is the pleasure of sharing and connecting.
It’s a movement…
There’s no official organization for Free Little Art Galleries. There’s no official anything. Seattle-based artist Stacy Milrany is generally credited with creating the first one in late 2020, and others have done their own. Most are built by individuals and set up in front of their homes. Some are in public libraries, schools, art supply stores, on the grounds of art museums. They number in the hundreds — that we know of.
Most FLAGs are in the United States. There are a fair number in Canada, some in Europe, some in Australia and New Zealand. There are probably more overseas than we know about — ones in the USA and by English-speaking people are easier for us to find. If you know any we’ve missed, please let us know!
415 mapped as of 30 June 2023.
If you want to operate a FLAG, you can just do it. We have some suggestions for how to start and operate your FLAG. Once you’re set up we’d appreciate it if you’d add yourself to our map so others can find you or mail you art to put in it, but that’s up to you. This is a “fan site” — we have no official status.
Is there one near me?
View our map to find FLAGs nearby. This is the most comprehensive directory of Free Little Art Galleries, but we know it’s incomplete. There’s no obligation to register or to have an online presence, and many people just set them up in their yard for their neighbors to participate.
Occasionally a local community newspaper will report on the opening of a FLAG in their town, so also search their websites for articles.
Many FLAGs have an online presence on Instagram or Facebook — mostly Instagram. Search for a hashtag for your city and the hashtags #freelittleartgallery or other art-related terms.
Local arts organizations sometimes sponsor FLAGs or at least know about them.
If you find a FLAG we don’t know about, please use our update form to tell us about it.
This website, and the Map of FLAGS, are a project of Tyler Tork and Tork Inner Prizes and a few helpful volunteers. Tyler is the author of speculative fiction and children’s books, and an amateur artist. Tyler doesn’t have a FLAG himself, yet, but is working to set one up for his church.
If you’d like to help, please write to us using our online contact form. Hope to hear from you!