“Alright, ladies and gents of all ages, #artdropsallisaw 3.0 is on!”
And that’s how the fun begins as it’s posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Lesley Manning of Sallisaw, a self-taught artist, stay-at-home mom, and part-time secretary for her husband Chase, said she got tired of the insanity associated with the politics of this year’s election.
“I needed to do something fun!” she explained. So, with numerous canvas artworks piled up at home, she decided to give them away. She decided to give them away in a fun way. She hid them around Sallisaw, then challenged people to find them.
“I did the first one in August or September, after the earthquake and the insanity of the politics,” she said.
She hid one canvas at the 14 Flags Museum on Cherokee in Sallisaw.
Apparently Sallisaw residents needed a bit of fun too.
“It was found within 30 minutes,” Manning said.
Wednesday, after the second presidential debate, Manning decided her third art drop was needed. She hid another six canvases in Sallisaw city parks. Then she posted on her Facebook page that the art drop was on again.
As of Thursday, all but one had been found. The finders post the results of their treasure hunts on social media too.
Manning said she is getting good feedback from the art searchers.
“Stephane Qualls said they found the one at Alex Denton Park and they were whooping and hollering like crazy people,” Manning reported. “The whole family was there.”
Manning said she got the idea of the art drop from artists who were doing the same in Oklahoma City.
“And I would love to do it there, but I’m three hours away,” she said. So Manning initiated Sallisaw’s art drop.
Manning is the mother of three small children – two sons, Milo, 4, and Griffin, 2, and a daughter, Sage, 8 months.
“They are my partners in crime,” she explained with a laugh.
Manning has a degree in education, and also teaches art to youngsters. Anyone who has seen her teach children can see how she loves both the kids and the art.
She does the art drops, she said, “Just for fun,” and “When the world goes crazy, I like to give things away.”
Others agree. Manning said several of her former students have said they will donate some artwork for the next art drop.
One friend even proposed a painted-rock drop. Manning likes that idea. She explained, “It would be Sallisaw Rocks, and we wouldn’t get in trouble for littering. I like it because I don’t want to litter. I worry about that. I don’t want to be fined for littering.”
Manning said there will be more art drops in the future. She said, “Maybe we’ll do one after the next debate, or after the election, or after the inauguration. I'll do one just for the community.
“It’s all gloom and doom about politics, and we need some fun!”
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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