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First Little Art Library Launches At Walls Project Headquarters

The first FREE Little Art Library is officially open! It’s located right outside the Walls Project Headquarters at 458 America Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

The idea for the Little Art Library came during one of the OneRouge Coalition meetings, which are held every Friday at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom.

“Rodneyna Hart was talking about how expensive it is to attend art school,” says Samantha Morgan, project manager for the Walls Project and creator of the Little Art Library. “I studied art history in college and remember how expensive the books were. And my partner at the time was a fine art major. Between the two of us, we were paying hundreds of dollars more every semester for books and supplies. And that was 20 years ago! Imagine how much that cost is now.”

That thought sparked the idea of using an already established model to create something new.

“Free Little Libraries are so popular, but I have always felt they could be utilized for much more than just books,” Morgan explains. “For example, I started putting crayons and coloring books at the library in my neighborhood and the kids love it!”

During the call, Morgan pitched the idea of a Little ART Library - a place for people to donate art books and supplies, then take whatever they need for their own needs. Executive Director Casey Phillips immediately agreed and before the call was over, the plan was in motion.

“I can’t say I was too surprised,” Morgan admits. “Casey is always so quick to support an idea he thinks is worthy. And what could be more worthy than an arts organization helping people get free art supplies.”

The Little Art Library is available to people all day, every day. But there are a few rules we ask people to follow.

What can I donate?

  • Books about artists of any type (painters, photographers, writers, sculptors, etc)

  • Books about working professionally as an artist

  • Books related to art techniques

  • Paint (acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, etc)

  • Paint brushes, pallet knives

  • Drawing materials (pencils, crayons, charcoal, etc)

  • Paper (drafting, sketch pads, construction paper)

  • Canvas (stretched or unstretched)

  • Sculpting materials (clay texture tools, modeling tools, sponges)

  • Glazes

What can’t I donate?

  • Gallon cans of paint (that would take up too much space)

  • Supplies that are not good anymore (this is not a trash bin)

  • Loose sharp objects (please wrap and label anything that could poke or cut someone)

  • Anything that needs to be temperature controlled

  • Clothing of any kind

  • Perishable items of any kind (if it has an expiration date, please do not put it in here)

  • Items over 10 lbs are encouraged to be left outside the box or on the office porch

Mary Clark Taylor by Morgan Udoh

In addition to art supplies, we will feature a local artist every month. For this first month, we’re featuring Walls Project’s own Morgan Udoh. The piece she donated is called “Mary Clark Taylor"

“Mary Clark Taylor is the first woman to receive a science degree from Fordham University for Botany, previous Dean of Agriculture for Howard University, and one of many unsung Black heroes in Horticulture,” Udoh says in her artist statement.

If you would like to be part of the Little Art Library community of creatives, come join us on Facebook! There we will talk about donations, share tips, get inspiration, and just be cool people who enjoy supporting the arts.

“This is about creating access and building community,” Morgan concludes. “It’s about finding a use for the things that no longer serve us. It’s about giving space for creativity. It’s about supporting those who want or need to be lifted up.”

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