Free Art Friday Sparks Scavenger Hunt Through Athens

It’s Friday in Athens, and while for most this simply means the start of the weekend, for some it means that the race is on.

A group of local artists are dropping small pieces of original art throughout the city as a part of Free Art Fridays.  The sensation began as artists began sharing Instagram photos with clues leading art hunters to the location of hidden pieces.  As the photos are posted, followers of #fafath race through the city to be the first to claim the prize and to share the news of their free art with others on social media.

Some participating artists choose to reveal their true names to followers, while some opt instead to cloak their identity behind their art.

Instagrammers sadbot_ath, saintblondie, and athulhu frequently create signature pieces of free art to hide, yet very few know the true artists behind the photos.

Tyler Boyd, a third-year psychology and pre-pharmacy major at UGA, met the man behind “Athulhu” after he commissioned a personalized piece in the artist’s signature style.

“I heard from someone else that they had a special piece made, so after seeing his free art,” says Boyd, “I thought about asking for my own.”

He personally messaged athulhu on Instagram, and the artist agreed to make Boyd a unique piece.  When he met Boyd to deliver the art, athulhu handed him a drawing of his trademark character, wearing a Redcoat band uniform and playing a mellophone.  Boyd, a second year mellophone player in the Redcoat Marching Band at UGA, was ecstatic.

“He didn’t ask me anything… what he makes is totally random,” he explains.

Boyd also went on the hunt to find a planted #fafath piece, claiming Saintblondie’s swirled Easter egg piece at the Athens train trestle behind Mama’s Boy restaurant, as well as a jac-o-lantern piece planted by Athulhu in the Milledge Avenue Baptist Church pumpkin patch on Halloween of 2016.

“Everyone needs a piece of free art from Athulhu,” shares Boyd.

Be on the lookout for hidden treasures scattered throughout Athens every Friday to take on the #fafath challenge!

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