05/02/2014 06:48 EDT | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Free Art Left Around Vancouver In Amazing Social Experiment (PHOTOS)


If you happen upon a piece of art hanging in an alley or a tree somewhere in Vancouver, chances are you can take it home.

All the artist would like in return is a picture of where you decided to display it.

It's all part of a social experiment by Vancouver artist Zebulon Austin.

With help from Saskatchewan photographer Kristopher Grunert and the COMBiNE Collective of artists, Austin is placing his paintings around Vancouver as a way of giving back to the streets he calls home.

"We had this idea to start putting interior artwork outside and start giving back to the city," Austin told The Huffington Post B.C. "It was all about being grateful for where we live and making it home — not only inside our home — but bringing the feeling of, ‘This is our home, let’s appreciate it like a home,’ to the back alleys."

Story continues below slideshow:

Photo gallery Vancouver Art Social Experiment See Gallery

Each time they place a new piece somewhere in the city, they take a photo and post it to Facebook. From there, fans can figure out the location and go grab it — or, of course, just stumble upon it.

Each piece has a handwritten note on the back that explains the project and what it aims to accomplish.

"As an artist I have a great appreciation for whatever environment it is that I’m in," Kristopher Grunert, who lived in Vancouver for 12 years and still visits frequently, told HuffPost B.C.

"Basically I’m inspired by the things around me. The goal is to inspire others to look at the environment around them a little bit differently, appreciate it a little bit more. We’re really sort of extending the sort of boundaries of our home from the four walls around us to include the city that we live in."

They have hung up three paintings so far, and received their first response a few days ago about a work that was left in Gastown. (The whole thing was documented on Imgur by a friend of the lucky recipient.)

"It's been pretty interesting," said Austin.

And even though he is a professional artist, giving away some of his work for free wasn't that difficult.

"I think it’s something that feels really good when you do it," Austin said. "It really connects you with the city."

Like this article? Follow our Facebook page

Or follow us on Twitter