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Spreading joy and happiness in Bradford, one piece of art at a time

Art and Found is celebrated worldwide on March 12, and was started by local artist Courtney Senior in honour of her late father

An international art sharing initiative made its way to Bradford over the weekend. 

Art and Found Day was started by Toronto artist Courtney Senior as a tribute to her late father. 

Her dad was always her biggest supporter, hanging her pieces around the house and encouraging her to explore her creativity. 

When he tragically passed away in an accident in 2013, Senior wanted to do something to keep his memory alive. She began sharing pieces of her art with the community, wrapping them in brown paper and attaching a note: 

"Hello, I'm an original abstract painting in need of a loving home. Free Art. #ArtandFound."

The gesture was well received, with many expressing their excitement for the work with Senior. Soon enough other artists across the world began leaving their pieces in places around their neighbourhoods in the annual event, held on March 12 (her dad's birthday). This year, 38 countries and 1100 artists participated. 

Senior's brother Tristan and his wife Sarah live in Bradford. Over the weekend they, along with their two children, decided to share some of their own artwork around town.

"We are doing it to support our sister/aunt/sister-in-law and to commemorate Tristan’s dad," said Sarah. "It’s also a lot of fun and hopefully brings joy to other people! It’s incredible to see how much it has grown and evolved over the years."

The Senior family made two pieces: a vinyl piece featuring an image of a deer adhered to wood, and an abstract painting done by the kids. Together they carefully wrapped each piece in baby blue paper, with a message explaining what the project was all about, encouraging the finder to keep the work. 

The idea is to leave the pieces in high traffic areas, such as transit hubs, busy streets and neighbourhood parks. 

The Senior family left theirs at a busy bench in the Grand Central subdivision. 

Sarah, who is a grade school teacher, said she enjoyed doing the activity with her family and hopes to bring it into her classroom. 

"I’m going to make it a school initiative next year," she said.

The official Art and Found Day may be over, but that doesn't mean artists can't continue to share their work in public. Just be sure to tag @artandfoundday on social media to keep the momentum going. 

To learn more about Art and Found Day, visit their website here. 

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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