Thursday, December 31, 2015

About our events- the meetup debut in particular

To all those who have RSVP'd for this meetup- first of all I just want to take a moment to wish you all a happy holiday and a happy new year!   I just wanted to say a couple quick things about this event.

You may or may not be familiar with The Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center aka HMAC.  And for those of you who are familiar with the venue you may recall it as a sort of bar/stage/nightclub type of room.  That is known as The Stage on Herr.  Over the past year or so they have expanded that facility to include a restaurant and big room.   We will be in the restaurant area.  It is accessible via the stage room, but it is best to enter through the new entrance on 3rd.  I will try to put up a sign/banner by the entrance.

Something important to say about the fact that the venue is a restaurant is that I think it would be quite inappropriate to bring any food or drinks to the event.  Please know that there is no business taking place between HMAC and me nor anyone else involved in the project.  No money is changing hands, there is no agreement for me to promote or encourage people to do business with the restaurant.  But I think since they have allowed us to come we should get our food and drinks as desired from their restaurant/bar.   So please, if you do want food or drink show respect and appreciation for their hospitality and silent participation.

The second thing is- I am thrilled to see the level of interest we have in this group and this debut event.  I am certainly excited to see what you all do with the canvases.  Please know that (for now anyway) this project and these events are out-of-pocket.  I want to keep these events free and public.  Ursula and I are going to be working to get sponsors and donations.  For now I do have a good deal of paint and supplies.  We are pretty good to go.  If you want to bring paint to use that would be great- it would ensure we don't run out and offset the cost of this event and subsequent events.  If you want to chip in a a few cents or a few dollars or even a gift card for Jo-Ann or Michael's that would be great.  Every little bit helps.  If you can't do either that is totally fine!  First and foremost these events are here to enjoy and there will never be a fee to participate.

If you do decide to bring paint please bring water-based paint.  Acrylic paint is preferred, water color is welcome.  Sorry, but for now oil-based paints cannot be allowed.  They dry too slow and the presence of the cleaners present risks and liabilities we cannot manage or accommodate due to their hazardous properties.

I think that is about it.  There was one other thing but it can't be that important.  :-)  The most important thing is to have fun when you arrive!

Here are a couple links that may interest you....

The type of paint we will be using for now for the most part...  (I am going to be ordering paint in larger, educational quantities in the near future).

A first draft of a handout/flyer I designed that will be present at the venue...

Handouts - first draft (what do you think)?

Hi everyone.  I have made these bi-fold handouts for our events.  This is the first draft.   If anyone has any input on them please feel free to chime in.  Is there something wrong?  Is there something missing?  Is there some way to make them better?  Please leave a comment  :-)

Remember you can click on the images to see larger versions.  (These versions have email addresses and the phone number removed to discourage automated spam).

See you all this Saturday if you can make it. 


Saturday, December 26, 2015

(UPDATED) Nick's Holiday Trip 2015 - A stop by Cindy and Bob's

I took a trip up to Buffalo, NY for the holidays and while there stopped by my sister Cindy's place.   She was interested in painting and she did... and added our first touch of glitter to the canvases.  I think it is pretty neat.

Afterword her and her husband rather insisted that I do a little painting myself (it was my idea but I was hesitant).  This is not art by me but art by everyone.  Anywho... here are a couple pictures!  Enjoy!  (I will post a few more pics once the canvases are dry)!

Cindy after adding some paint and glitter
I add my little touch

Close-up pictures added Dec 28th...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Perception management.... what this really is.

I felt that I should explain something about the image of this project.  You may think that the website is relatively nice and maybe professional, we have a Facebook page, a banner, and even business cards.

All of this may lead people to the wrong impression about the nature of this project.  Some may think there is monetary backing, a staff or other resources that do not exist.  One may also think there is some sort of agenda- a commercial or business agenda.

The reality is that I (Nick) am very passionate about this project, our current canvases and future ideas.  I believe that it adds value to peoples' lives and the community.  I believe it is something positive to enjoy for anyone who may be inclined to enjoy something along the lines of "Art By Everyone."

All of the materials - the business cards, the banner, the website are all things I funded out-of-pocket when money was necessary to make them happen.

I built the easels and did all the design work for the cards, banner, easels etc.  This is all stuff I put my personal time in on- driven by my true belief that this is something positive and my desire to share that positive vibe with others.

I am not looking to make any money off of this, and have no plans on turning it into a for-profit business or anything like that.  It is just something here for people to enjoy and serve as inspiration for those around me.

If anything all of this what may be perceived as "marketing" is really a product of a semi-conscious effort to demonstrate that this project is here to stay and that I (and others) am committed to it.  I think the same goes for Ursula, and we have had a lot of positive feedback so far.

And I should take a moment to give my friend Ursula credit too.  She has spent a great deal of time discussing the concept with me, helped me build the big easel for the time lapse etc.  She deserves a lot of thanks.

Finally this post is not here to impress but to merely explain and hopefully communicate a better understanding of what this project is all about.

Thank you for reading,

Nick Birke

Project Steward

You can see the post meant to serve as the "ABOUT US" post by clicking here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Picture Gallery - "Road Debut - Art On The River"

Getting ready to go!

Michael adding some paint...

My new survival bracelet - courtesy of Mike.  Thanks man!

Nino and his buddies...

Raymond sending Tina a message....

Monday, December 7, 2015

The first bumper sticker on the road :-)

Our friend Ursula decided to sport one of our new Art by Everyone bumper stickers.  First one on the road!  Yay!  If you would like a bumper sticker just let us know on this blog, facebook or via our contact page and we can make arrangements to send you one.  (This is while supplies last/etc)

UPDATE:  For the bumper sticker I am asking for a $5 to cover the cost of the sticker and postage.  Any small remainder will go toward the project.  You can track the project budget at via the link at the bottom of the homepage.  Thanks!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Major update(s) on nature of "Art by Everyone"

UPDATE 12/15/2015:   To keep track of our events we are now on   This is a social networking site for people with similar interests to plan when and where to get together.  This will be the center of our event scheduling from now on.  It is free to sign up and you can provide as little or as much information as you like.

So this concept has evolved quite a ways from the original idea described here.

Now we are going to take this on the road.  I have built portable easels and will be bringing the canvases (along with everything else needed such as paint, brushes, drop-cloths etc) to various venues, along with everything necessary for anyone, anywhere to be a part of this.

Check them out here on my personal blog.

So what does this mean?
  • You can offer suggestions on where to bring the canvases
    • If you are having an event where you think this would be appropriate let us know.
    • You can send a message to Art by Everyone on Facebook or using the new contact page here.
  • This will add value to the community.  Giving many people the chance to paint who otherwise would not go through the trouble.
  • People can participate and watch the canvases evolve over time.
  • I plan on taking them to other cities as well
Anything is possible... I encourage your feedback/suggestions/questions...

dont hesitate to use the new (primitive) contact page!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ediwn in action...

Tonight Ursula and Edwin stopped by and Edwin decided to take to the canvases while we mucked with our hair.  Here he is in action tonight... or um last night :-)

Pretty soon we will take the canvases "on the road" to truly realize what we hope is social art,

Edwin in action

Monday, November 16, 2015

V doing her thing

Had a friend "V" over tonight who "took the challenge..." go Ves!   We are just getting this thing started!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New homepage

Ok just so that we can have everything in one place I set up a super basic homepage as .    Just wanted to make everyone aware that it was up.

Nick's first modification

This is from this past Thursday.  I know the lighting isn't quite right and it based on these pictures I can understand how you may think the time-lapse won't be that hot... but no worries.  I am taking measures tomorrow to have a fixed position for the camera and make sure the lighting is consistent and appropriate.  So that's that.... I am excited to see this go forward.

I think as time goes on I will actually take the canvases to some events that I try to arrange with different local venues to get a great variety of people to participate in this.  STAY TUNED!

Nick adds some paint

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's no longer blank!

Tonight Ursula let some creative juices flow and adorned the canvases with its first strokes of paint!

Ursula's first touches

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Introduction: About Art by Everyone and Social Art

UPDATE (Nov 16, 2015): It's really simple but we have a homepage now.

Many of you who know me have already heard about this... and for who haven't here is a brief introduction...

Last week while spending time in my apartment with some friends the idea of creating a "social art" project came to mind.  "Social art" is just what I am calling it, and all I mean by it is- art that is created by everyone.  Or in this case anyone who comes to my place.

The idea actually came up when considering what to do with some free space I had.  Since the conception of the idea, I have built an easel/stand,  and acquired two canvases.  (All this stuff is adding up and if you would like to contribute I have set up a crowd-funding campaign here.  Please check it out if you can donate a few bucks for paint, brushes, and other materials).

click here to see some pictures of the easel construction

The intention is that over time my guests will be able to "get their hands dirty" and do some (as little or as much as they want) painting or otherwise modify the canvasses.

I hope that you and others enjoy seeing this first work come to life as it is not just about painting a painting- it is also seeing how it changes over time, and getting to see something quite unique especially in the parlance of our time.  In the end I will create a time-lapse video of the work and put it up here too.

I hope this humble beginning inspires people like you to participate, offer input and start your own projects too!

There is a Facebook page here where I will post updates regularly.


Project 1, First Frame- The Blank Canvases