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Nov 21, 2015

Random Gifts of Art Goes Global

A few years ago my buddy Garret Garrels, a world-hopping speaker, revealed how travel had become
boring and routine for him. I shared with him one of my problems- that I produce much more art than the world will ever see. So we cooked up a creative solution for both our problems, and that has changed both our lives forever. It has now become a project we call Random Gifts of Art. And the project has spread around the world.

It started with a simple idea: on his trips Garret gave my original drawings to random strangers, asking nothing in return. But to our surprise, one transaction lead to another and a multi-dimensional global movement was born. The success of that simple idea sparked invitations for Garret to speak about the project. That led to a book of remarkable stories resulting from these interactions. The book includes some of the gift drawings, stories, illustrations and musings on the philosophy and art of gift giving.

The book itself becomes a symbol of invisible connection. Each copy is a numbered limited edition with its own web page, personally distributed by us. Each reader of the book is encouraged to add their name, pass the book on and share their story. Each book, as well as the original art, can be tracked in its movements around the world. One never knows where a gift might lead. Or how the participants might be changed.

The project continues to unfold. We filmed a half hour TV episode, and have now created a live show about the project. We're now developing a tour of the show, a TED talk, and a one-act play. It seems that the simple energy of generosity keeps compelling us forward. We don't know where the idea will end, but we are having so much fun connecting with people, that's all that really matters. We hope you'll get hooked too. Generosity is contagious!
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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.