Make your own ARTcart!

header with 4 images - the first is a man making art and in the background hangs dozens of works of art, the second is a group of adults around a table painting, the third is a close up of an oil pastel drawing of a building and a finally the last is of a family sitting around a table making art together.

Make your own ARTcart!

Below are 3 ways to make your own ARTcart. If you’re a beginner, we suggest you start from the top and work your way down the list. Contact us if you have any questions and please SHARE YOUR ARTcart with us! Send images and a short description of what you did to takeanartbreak[at]gmail[dot]com

The ARTcart Happening

Think Guerilla Art. You swoop into unexpected public spaces and facilitate art making for FREE!

two images side by side, one of a child holding up artwork and the other of two women sitting on a street curb making art together.

1. Get yourself a backpack and fill it up with tons of art supplies.

Fill your backpack with:

  • clipboards (give someone a clipboard with a piece of paper so they can do art anywhere!)
  • paint brushes
  • travel size shampoo containers filled with paint
  • small water bottle
  • small acrylic cup (fill it with water for the paint
  • stack of paper
  • markers
  • pencils
  • pens
  • oil pastels
  • plastic table cloth

2. Make a sign that says “Make ART for FREE!”

3. Pick a location.

Think of a spot that has a good amount of people that might be hanging out for a bit. A bus stop is a great example. Or, maybe a local park. 

4. Set up is easy.

Just empty your backpack, put up your sign and start making some art!

6. Start engaging with folks to make art for free.

Ask passersby or patrons, “Hey, do you want to make some art for free?”

7. Think of general starter question to give folks a jumping off point.

For example “What does home mean to you?” “What does social change look like?” and/or “What makes you happy?”

8. Document with photographs, video, tweeting, everything!

Send Art is Moving your ARTcart stories, photos, videos and more! We are always happy to hear stories about random acts of art making.

The Mobile ARTcart!

Think one time events that could benefit from a little art making. Festivals, parties, neighborhood block parties. Connect with local non-profits and businesses to hire you to bring the ARTcart to their events.

two images side by side one of a woman sitting at a table making art, the other of a woman looking exhausted with a cart full of art supplies next to her.

Follow all of the steps under The ARTcart Happening and add a few more!

  • Submit a proposal to an organization with a budget (About 0.25 per person for supplies is a good estimate)
  • If someone asks you to bring your ARTcart, gather the information you need (date and time of event, location, expected number of people, will a table and chairs be provided, etc.) and then send them a quote.  
  • If you need a small table HERE is a small and light weight one that might work.
  • Make a bigger and longer lasting sign that says “Make ART for FREE!” You can make a really sturdy and professional sign for under $40 if you use two 18 x 24 inch canvases and connect them using hinges. Then, paint the canvas and you have yourself a sign!

Pushing the ARTcart!

Dive in and apply for a grant! Try and create a permanent space in your community for free art making or a temporary project that allows you to set up a free art making station for a period of time. Build a pushable ARTcart, fill it with art supplies and stop it on random street corners and let passersby make art for free. Connect with a local gallery or non-profit to exhibit the work you collect at your ARTcart. Invite the community to see what they have created together!

two images side by side, the first an art cart with a table next to it full of art supplies sitting on a street corner, the other two woman next to an art cart getting ready to let people make art for free.

1. Apply for a Grant.

(This is the HARDEST part of a large art project). The rest is FUN!

The place to start is with your budget, then you will know where to apply.

Sample budget from one of our ARTcart Grant applications:

Vendor Cart $2000

Archival Paper $400

Acrylic Paint ($77 per 32 oz. x 18 jars) $1386

Paint Brushes of Various Sizes $228

Pencils ($24 per set x 3 sets) $72

Foldable Table $75

Chairs $112 A

rtist Fees ($30 per hour) $5460

Total: $9733

That will give you an idea of where to start. You will need to supply a more detailed Artist Hours section. Now, on to writing your proposal!

2. Advertise!

When you have the funds are squared away, start advertising!!! Start a website, blog, facebook page, twitter. Come up with a schedule for you ARTcart and the location for each date you will be out. That way you can tell people in advance where you will be. (We discovered that people always wanted to know where we would be the next time we were out).

3. Fill up your ARTcart!

4. Get to the streets!

5. Team up with a local gallery.

Find a gallery or non-profit organization in the neighborhood your ARTcart is offering art and ask them if they are willing to display the art. As soon as you find a place, start spreading the word. Tell all of your ARTcart visitors, follw step 2 again and Advertise, Advertise, Advertise.