Last week, the international "ephemeral one day art event" known as La Grande Lessive (which literally means "the big laundry/washing") was held in over 67 countries, celebrating art in a collective, social and expressive way. The idea is to hang artwork using wood pins on clotheslines that weave through trees and poles and buildings, creating a magnificent exhibition of (mostly children's) hand-drawn/painted/cut works unbound and free.
When my older son was younger, his school participated in La Grande Lessive. I was just so enamored by the waves of color strewn throughout and around the grounds of the preschool, I had no idea the scope of this open to all, open-air installation. First created in 2006 by French artist Joëlle Gonthier, the aim is to awaken the desire of discovery and to vary the possible approaches and, consequently, the creations of art forms... to tighten social links and trigger an interest and desire to create art. It is now in five continents with millions of participants and spreads with no advertising and no budget, but merely by word of mouth and the loyalty of its contributors.
The biannual event has principally been held at schools and art centers (though it can be organized anywhere). It is a beautifully simple way for children to express themselves through art, have their work displayed for everybody to see and be recognized as they are, artists. I can't wait for La Grande Lessive to expand even further across the globe and into all schools.
All children are artists - Picasso
photo credits: Lola A, drofmit4108-flickr