Following a Seattle artist’s efforts and a growing movement, two Sequim women hope they too can share some love through art.
In January, local water colorist Gayle Selby emailed a Washington Post article to her friend Eva Kozun about Stacy Milrany’s Free Little Art Gallery (FLAG). Milrany opened her small gallery in December 2020 at First Avenue North between Garfield and Galer in Seattle. Inside a structure that’s less than 2 feet tall and sitting atop a post, miniature figures admire smaller art pieces.
Milrany’s idea is that people can leave a piece of art, take a piece of art or just take a look.
“There’s something new all the time,” Kozun said.
The gallery is based in part on Little Free Libraries, and Milrany’s support for her mother’s chemotherapy treatment starting in March 2019.
Milrany said in interviews she mailed her mother art about the size of a postcard each day of treatment as inspiration, and by the four-month mark, she had received about 145 pieces.
At the start of the pandemic, Milrany began mailing more postcard art to family and friends, which eventually led to the FLAG concept.
After reading Milrany’s story, Kozun was sold on the concept and the mixed media artist began making little galleries of her own. She built four in February, using refurbished materials from Around Again.
An old magazine rack and chest drawers will eventually house small works from local artists.
“People need to smile and see a little beauty,” Kozun said.
Milrany has given her blessing for more FLAGs to be built and Kozun said she got an OK from her via email, too.
With four galleries built, Kozun brainstormed potential locales and first connected with the Dandelion Botanical Company, 4681 Sequim Dungeness Way, formerly Nash’s Farm Store.
Selby, an unofficial curator for the gallery, said art has come and gone quickly in the months since she first posted an announcement on Facebook about the Sequim area’s first Free Little Art Gallery.
Objects range from ceramics to jewelry to paintings to sculptures, created by people of all ages and varying talent levels.
“You never know what you’ll see,” Selby said.
Dungeness’ first patron was a 6-year-old girl, who happened to choose a 5-year-old girl’s art and leave some of her own art, Selby said,
The two friends continue to receive support from fellow members of the Olympic Peninsula Art Association, who either leave art with Kozun at her home or at monthly meetings.
With limited space, the artist friends recommend items 5 inches by 7 inches or smaller to optimize space.
“Bigger isn’t always practical,” Kozun said. “Sometimes these (galleries) will be out in the weather, so (art) has to fit in the gallery.”
While growing in popularity, the Dungeness gallery has become so full, Selby said she has taken a few items out and brought them back later.
More Sequim and Port Angeles Free Little Art Galleries are coming soon though, Kozun said.
The next gallery will open up at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., for its Summertide Solstice Art Festival from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, June 19.
Kozun said it will be featured outside near the entrance to Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park.
Three more galleries will come to Sequim/Dungeness this summer with details and dates still being worked on.
Kozun said she spoke with business locations where visitors are common so more people can embrace the effort. In the meantime, she’s continuing to work on a fifth FLAG of a mannequin holding a house decorated in a mosaic.
“To me, this is so happy,” she said. “It’s just pure joy.”
For more about the Olympic Peninsula Art Association’s local efforts and shows, visit opaagroup.org.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.