New Brunswick

Fredericton artist hides work to be found in park

When out for a walk in Fredericton’s Odell Park, you might find a painting tucked away and tied to a tree branch. Those unexpected discoveries are why Sasha French decided to start hiding her work in the park — for people to take home.

Sasha French hopes her pieces in Odell Park make art more accessible

Fredericton artist Sasha French attaches a small art piece to a tree in Odell Park. (Jon Collicott/CBC)

When out for a walk in Fredericton's Odell Park, you might find a painting tucked away and tied to a tree branch. 

Those unexpected discoveries are why Sasha French decided to start hiding her work in the park — for people to take home.

"Lost and Found Art," the Fredericton artist's project, is about making art accessible to everyone through one of her favourite spots in the city. She started placing small pieces at different spots in the park over the summer.

"Just not even knowing who wound up with it is very fun and exciting — and kind of thrilling," she said.

'It's so entrancing'

The inspiration came from similar hidden art projects in other parts of the world.

Some artists have hidden entire canvases, wrapped in alleyways, for people to come across.

French also wanted to include her two young daughters in her work, and prevent waste by reusing materials. It also turns art into the elements of a game.

"I like putting it out into the world and seeing where it ends up," she said in an interview at her studio, Bird Girl Arts.

Fredericton artist creates art to be 'lost and found'

10 months ago
3:10
Sasha French leaves small paintings attached to trees in Fredericton's Odell Park for people to discover and take home. Her goal: make art more accessible. 3:10

After moving to Fredericton two years ago, French quickly fell in love with the park.

She was born and raised in the Florida Keys. Much of her work centres on capturing its intricate details of beauty.

The city hired her last summer as an artist-in-residence based in Odell Park. She took a different trail each afternoon to discover different spots.

People would stop to talk and watch the work in progress.

"Even on the outer circle of this huge park, it's so entrancing," French said.

Accessible for everyone

Her project aims to bring art to people of all ages and backgrounds.

French said she hopes when people discover her little paintings, it can serve as a gateway to further exploration.

The small pieces are a "little teaser" to encourage that.

"There's this beautiful world that you can have, and it's right here waiting for you," she said.

Sasha French finds inspiration for her work in the natural beauty of Fredericton's Odell Park. (Jon Collicott/CBC)

French studied dance and choreography, and her background is reflected through the movement in her canvases. It includes line work and ideas of flow designed to bridge the place between stillness and dimension.

The art tucked away in the park ranges from little paintings, to sketches, magnets and mixed media. It all depends on what's happening that week in her downtown studio.

The pieces are small so people can easily carry them home, and come with small notes in the bag. She's received emails and messages from appreciative people who find the art a home.

"I like putting it out into the world and seeing where it ends up," French said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandre Silberman

Video Journalist

Alexandre Silberman is a video journalist with CBC New Brunswick based in Moncton. He has previously worked at CBC Fredericton, Power & Politics, and Marketplace. You can reach him by email at: alexandre.silberman@cbc.ca

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