Artforallpeoples: a pandemic art story

Have you seen pieces of artwork posted to poles around town spreading messages of all kinds? Here’s the story behind them.

art posted to a pole that reads "I am a tiny potato And I believe in you. You can do the thing."

Have you seen these entertaining internet-inspired artworks around town?

It would be cool to paint the town red — I don’t know if that would be annoying or cool, actually — with memes and art and internet posts everywhere.”

Those are the words of a local business owner — one who has a secret(ish) side gig of posting internet memes, uplifting phrases, and cute or funny messages around town.

Dubbed by its corresponding Instagram account entitled “artforallpeoples,” you’ve likely seen the artwork we’re referring to: a pug, ahem, tooting while doing yoga, a colorful “you got this” reminder, a tiny potato that believes in you... the list goes on.

A piece of artwork showing a pug doing yoga and tooting with the words "exhale" written above

We’re particularly large fans of this piece.

So what’s the story behind it, then?

  • First things first: artforallpeoples wants to keep their identity a secret — we met up with them, but like our pal Eric is Dead, they like the anonymity surrounding the project.
  • The project began a few months after the pandemic really started shutting things down, mostly as “a healthier coping method than drugs, alcohol, or playing video games all night,” but a healthier coping mechanism that “... at least [is] maybe helping other people.”
  • The artforallpeoples Instagram bio explicitly states that the works posted around town are “not [their] art.So whose are they?The internet’s.” Artforallpeoples finds these pieces on Instagram, Pinterest, or out in the world somewhere, and recreates them on old political signs, abandoned pieces of wood, and pretty much anything else you can paint on.
  • To date, artforallpeoples has put up ~1,100 pieces of art around town. According to them, the pieces will usually stay up for a couple of months before they’re taken down by people.

And how is the art chosen? “Sometimes I’m like, ‘oh yeah this is a good message,’ and sometimes I’m like, ‘this is a stupid thing I laughed at.’"

In a world where powerful messages and ridiculous quips are separated only by the scrolling of your finger, we can’t argue with that logic.

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