Annual ROC Xmas Eve Art Drop
Some folks might not know this, but for a while I have been a guy that goes for rather long walks, seeing random spots and places, but what I get a kick out of doing the most is hiding art. Not sure why, but I've hidden over 250 pieces in the past 3 years alone. Not just in Rochester, but wherever I travel I put artwork up. The pieces have ranged from tiny canvases to pieces that I've needed help carrying. It gives me something to do, and it's cool if I find myself back there and it's gone. Either someone liked it, or there is an art-collecting pigeon in the city that wants something nice to build a nest with.
The second piece to the puzzle: I happen to be a rather large jovial man, substantial beard, that gets a kick out of yuletide. (realizing I need to hit the gym more so my description is better when I laugh). For as long as I can remember, and honestly before I was really making art, I would wrap and give gifts around the holidays to people I would cross paths with. Sometimes friends, more than regularly it was just someone that had struck up a conversation with me. I'd always find random little items that caught my attention and invariably I found myself standing next to someone that seemed to fit the recipient. While I do this still, I have now taken it in a slightly different direction and paired it with my art creation and art-drops.
2018 Xmas Art Drop - Call for Art!
For the past few years, I've been doing Xmas Eve Art Drops here in Rochester. I hide one large piece under the Liberty Pole (which was much easier before they put that smooth marble down and made it a death trap), and I also put stockings around town that have art that has been donated by friends. (Thanks to folks like John Perry, Nick Brandreth, Matt Roberts, Randy Duncan, and a handful more).
This year I'm looking to continue the theme of hiding art in the city on and around Yule and Xmas Eve. So, I'm sending this out as a general call to see who is interested in donating art for a stocking? Doesn't have to be an original, doesn't have to be anything large, just something that someone would smile to see when he or she finds the stocking. We've had plenty of small sculptures, hand drawings, prints, and even photo prints added to various donated stockings.
We utilize social media, hashtags, Reddit, and various blogs/news outlets to share the art drops when it happens and people can then go out and scoop up the artwork for themselves.
If you or anyone you know would like to donate a piece of their work to hide, please contact me! (link at the bottom, or follow the contact link in the menu).
What I'm asking for…
Anything from prints to hand-drawn doodles are accepted. Keep it small enough that it can fit in a standard sort of stocking, and if it's paper make sure to put it inside a clear bag to keep snow off of it!
These can be any type of thing that is seen as a typical Christmas stocking that Dicken's would hang on a mantle. In previous years I've gone to thrift stores and gotten them when I didn't have enough donated.
We don't need too many of them, but, will take as many as needed to hold the artwork.
Share it on Social Media
The best part of this is seeing it spread around the city and people who wouldn't normally encounter it get a chance to scoop it up for themselves. This tends to lend itself to those that find it sharing it on their social media. (See Below)
Gas Money & Wrapping Supplies
Not everyone is an artist, and that is completely okay!!! If you still want to be part of it, you can help in plenty of other ways. Last year we had wrapping paper and wrapping services offered from friends!
This year we will be having more stockings than ever and will be traversing around the city to hide them in a large bright red pickup truck. So, a little bit of gas as a thank you to the owner of the truck would be appreciated!
If interested, please reach out to me and I can supply you with a paypal link.
I swear that if someone can help me find this costume I'll gladly wear it while hiding art around Rochester. (Most likely with a shirt donated by Fright Rags and good winter boots)
Note: Needs to be green with fir, as the red one is associated with CocaCola to me and the commercial Christmas.
Xmas Art Drop Previous Years
People Posting Their Finds
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Get My Stocking Back?
- Unless you or someone you know dashes out to get it once it's hung, then the chances are pretty low.
Will the person share my Instagram/Twitter/Info written on the back of the piece?
- Best I can offer... Maybe. From the hundreds I have hidden that isn't during the holidays, the post rate is low... I'd say it's less than 20% chance. But, it's more and more each year because of the social media craze and desire to show off cool things encountered IRL. I will say that the Xmas Eve Art Drop and ones I've done with I Heart Roc Blog have gotten some good social media attention.
Are You the One Hiding it?
- Yup, it's myself and my trusted elf, Nick Brandreth who pulls the sleigh.
Can I Join in the Xmas Eve Art Drop?
- I've always kept the number low to those that can help, much like how Santa had his alone time flying through the sky from rooftop to rooftop. It is more that I would hate to get anyone injured along the ride, and it's literally just dropping off artwork quickly and moving on to the next spot. efficiency and timing is more the culprit. If you wish to join me in another art drop at any of the time of the year, let me know! (I'm always up for late night art walk!)
I can't make art, but I can knit, can I offer up a handmade stocking?
- I'll gladly accept a wonderful handmade stocking. All I ask is that they are sturdy enough to put artwork in and that they can withstand the elements for at least that night. Some will be hung on nails, some are attached with tape, so if you do make one, can you please knit in a tag of some sort so we can attach it! Sadly paper stockings, while cute, do not really work.
Do you pay the Artists for their work?
- No. Totally just asking for cool stuff to hide. If you want to sell it, I can gladly introduce you to some of the wonderful art stores and art shows and sales that happen around Rochester throughout the year.
How Will They Know It's Me? Can I put my Social Media account and HashTags on it?
- I sign my work, put my Instagram handle, and whatever agreed on hashtag on the back of my work. If you wish to include a note with your work, you are free to put it in a clear bag with your work.
I'm a Poet, can I put something in?
- I've had writers write poems on my work to be hidden, and I'm not against having a lovely poem included in a stocking! Feel free to drop it off in printed form to me! (If you need it printed, just let me know ahead of time so we can get it printed before the day)
How are you letting folks know where the Xmas Eve Art Drop stockings are?
- One of the reasons I bring Nick along is that he's an amazing photographer that works at the George Eastman Museum and is a specialist in what he does. At every art drop, we take a series of photos. Ones of the stocking, ones of the contents, one of where the stocking is to help give clues, and any other photo we feel might be needed. We take photos to share on social media on my own, whatever blog or business wishes to pair with the event, and with the artists that donate.
Once a photo is taken it typically goes like this:
• We send the photo to the artist to share on their social media first
• The Blog (for instance I Heart Roc Blog) gets the photo sent to them at the same time.
• And after those two have been given the chance to post, I share it on my social media as well and offer it up so everyone can share it out.
What if I want to wait for mine to be found on Xmas Morning and not in the evening?
- We can work that out, you aren't the first to ask, we still hide them in the evening, but only share the photo in the morning. Though, you will need to add a disclaimer on the photo that it was placed earlier and might not still be there. (which has happened in the past).
Will I get in trouble with you hiding art?
- I tend to hid these pieces in public areas so there is no trespassing. (other art drops, I can't promise that). You will not be in trouble should I have the police stop and ask me what I'm up to. (Which has happened in the past, and why I keep the numbers low on who joins me). It's not like littering, it has been deemed socially acceptable to hide artwork.
Are you a Non-Profit, is this a write-off on my taxes?
- I'm not a non-profit, and you do not get any compensation aside from feeling good about doing it.
How do I know you aren't keeping it for yourself and/or selling it off on Etsy under an assumed Russian identity?
- You don't... But, I'm not like that. If I like what you have, I'll ask you for a trade of my work. But, the artwork you donate to me goes into a stocking and then hung up on the agreed upon day.
Can you hang my artwork in a specific place?
- I'm always willing to figure out if this is doable. Providing it's still available for the masses to get it without having to pay to get in, then I'm open to having an arrangement or predetermined destination for your stocking.
Are you putting only one piece of artwork in each stocking?
- Typically yes that is how it works. Unless you ask to be paired with someone. We have placed other pieces of notes along with certain stockings. Holiday well wishes, Holiday cards, printed pages explaining the piece or the artist. But typically it's one artist per stocking.
What's in it for you?
- Just like doing it, and want to keep with the traditions.
Can you hide my piece under the Liberty Pole?
- I'll hide it near the Liberty Pole if it fits in a stocking, if it's a larger piece then perhaps, but we will have to discuss it. Typically if you put multiple things together than one person will scoop them all up. I have found it's best to spread them around, trust me.
Plus it's been my place to hide the art for years, so I'll claim squatters rights. If you wish to hide yours there then you are free to join me, I don't own the spot, but I'll only be placing my piece under the Liberty Pole. Again, I'll place the stocking on a nearby building or in Parcel 5.
What the Heck is IRBIR?
- Short for "I'd Rather Be in Rochester". It was a failed marketing puppet designed by the Rochester City of Commerce.
How can I contact you?
- Click the Contact page at the top of the site. Or any of the social media links at the bottom.