Sarah Cooksey, Chattanooga, Tenn. — On April at 18 at 6 p.m. Jay Wiggins will host a presentation about his Everman project at the Farmer’s Daughter Café.
On April 19, the presentation will be put to work. From noon to 4 p.m., the Artifact Art Gallery will host a production party to create art for the streets of Chattanooga at 1080 Duncan Ave.
Following, the art will be spread among the city. To wrap up the day, a celebration of the project with a sculpture burn, food and live music will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight at 201 W. Main St.
The Evereman movement all started with a piece of trash.
A decade ago, Jay Wiggins had been practicing his art of wood working in his garage. He impetuously formed a funky block face out of a piece of scrap.
His son came in the room and admired the little block face. He asked his father to teach him to make the stencil. Senior taught, Junior learned, and now there are 30,000 or so pieces of art of that face floating around the world.
The Evereman movement is simple, yet so complex. Wiggins commonly quotes the Woody Guthrie lyrics “There’s a better world a come’n.” He said he desires to be a part of that world, and is currently a driving force to make it there.
“It’s a chance to bring a smile to whoever might come across it,” Wiggins said. “It brings a little excitement or a just little nudge out of the ordinary to come across these pieces.”
“It gives people a moment to pause to step outside themselves- even if it is just for a moment.”
The planting of art is not methodical; he does not gift the art to a particular part of town. “Where ever I am, I leave them behind,” he said. “I always have these pieces with me. It has just become part of my life; part of my day and my routine.”
A community of people- artist and non-artist alike, ranging from toddlers to their grandparents and everyone in between, gather about every six weeks for a production party. They produce Evereman art from whatever they can get their hands on. Some take the art to disperse among the city or leave it for others to take.
The explosion of social media has allowed Wiggins to see his art travel from its inception in Atlanta, Georgia to places such as Berlin, Paris, London, Puerto Rico, Egypt and Japan. The thirty thousand pieces of art he has gifted have been distributed in mediums including wood, sculptures and papers using stencils and spray paints.
To find out more about the Evereman Project, visit http://evereman.com/.