Take some, leave some at Edmonton's little free art gallery

A small, green, wooden structure across from the Sugarbowl Cafe is home to a selection of locally made artwork.

Garneau resident Kalie Bredo created Edmonton’s Little Free Art Gallery

Little Free Art Gallery creator Kalie Bredo wanted a place to give away her work and encourage others to do the same. (Tara McCarthy/CBC)

A small, green, wooden structure across from the Sugarbowl Cafe is home to a selection of locally made artwork.

The Little Free Art Gallery, created by Kalie Bredo, is perched on a pole on the front lawn of a house on 88th Avenue and 109 Street.

"I just wanted to create a space where people can leave art and take something for free," Bredo said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

'Pass it on'

"I make a lot of things that I don't want to keep. They're not masterpieces, but I also don't want to recycle them. So I thought this would be a good place just to pass it on into the world."

The small gallery is on the front lawn of a house owned by Bredo's brother and sister-in-law. 

Bredo says anonymous contributions have appeared regularly in the Little Free Art Gallery. (Tara McCarthy/CBC)

Inside are some of Bredo's contributions, as well as pieces left anonymously, ranging from collages and drawings to cat decorations and other found art. 

Bredo was inspired by the Little Free Library movement that has reached cities all over the world, including Edmonton. People are encouraged to take a book or leave a book in small house-shaped structures placed in various neighbourhoods.

Bredo's father's woodworking skills came in handy to create the little gallery. She painted it green and set it up in October.

It's a been a quiet start with a few regular contributions, but she said she hasn't done much to promote it, other than maintaining an Instagram page that features some of the artwork.

"I hope people stop by and take something that they like, and maybe people leave things that they make," Bredo said.

"It's just thinking of art as play and something you can pass on into the world and hopefully bring somebody some joy."

She welcomes any contributions for the Little Free Art Gallery, as long as they fit inside, Bredo said. She's also keeping the project small with no plans to create a second one.

"It feels good to leave stuff in here and it feels good to see people looking through it."


Born and raised in Mississauga, Ont., Tara McCarthy is the community, traffic and weather reporter on Edmonton AM. She previously worked for CBC North in Whitehorse, Yukon, and as a pop culture columnist on CBC Radio One. Follow her on Twitter: @CBCradiotara