Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Giving for the sake of giving

Giving for the sake of giving - what a refreshing concept.

This was my first thought when I came across a group called Papergirl, which opened my eyes to the kindness of others.

The mission behind the program is a selfless one. It's aimed at spreading art and the art of giving.

How it works:
Original art is donated by area artists to Papergirl. The rules are simple - there are no guidelines to the format or quantity of art donated. Prints, drawings, photography, it's all welcomed. The program only requests that the art be able to be rolled up for easy distribution.

Once the art is collected, it is shown in a local gallery, then taken down to be distributed by bicycle to people on the streets for free. This year, it was displayed in Pura Vida Worldly Art, in NoDa.

All of the donated art is then rolled up with a band that describes what Papergirl is, and is transported to uptown to spread the gift of art. Each roll contains a unique combination of artwork.

The whole thought is almost like a pay it forward concept - which is brilliant.

While the idea of Papergirl originated in Berlin in 2006, Charlotte's branch was established in 2009 by by former Providence High student, Katy Nolan, now 21.

"Papergirl is a community-centered project about bringing people together," Nolan said. "We collected art for four months and met at Amelie's in NoDa once a week to make art in the atrium."

This year, the group passed about about 350 pieces of art to passersby, Nolan said.

"It's art for art's sake," Nolan said.

For more information, check out their Facebook page, Papergirl- Charlotte, or their blogspot at You can also email the organization at

To donate to the Papergirl project, send your artwork to:

103 Dallas St.
Huntersville, N.C., 28078