The concept is simple for the Art Scavenger Hunt, artist Steve Sticht's post-Thanksgiving free-for-all: gather at a designated bar in a seedy part of Fort Lauderdale, bring a flashlight and be prepared to scour nearby rooftops, bushes and alleys for free artworks.
The 13th edition of Sticht's night of treasure-hunting and reverie returns Saturday to the Laser Wolf bar for its third consecutive year. The venue, to him, is ideal, flanked as it is by grungy-looking warehouses, alleyways and scrap. The day of the event, Sticht and participating artists will sock away their artworks in trash cans, under wood pallets, up telephone poles — anywhere, really — in a two-block radius around the bar.
"I've made over 100 artworks myself, and I'm still working on pieces, including T-shirts. I don't like people walking away with nothing," says Sticht, a street artist who gained notoriety in 1999 for his Blue Bike Project, in which he randomly deposited baby-blue bicycles around Fort Lauderdale. "I'm surprised that the artists are still so into it. This time, I didn't raise a clamor and call them. They came straight to me."
The 35 artists donating works to the hunt this year include Francesco LoCastro, Keegan Hitchcock, Jill Weisberg, Terribly Odd, Jinx Remover, Chuck Loose, Nancy Goldwin, Mike Turner, Steven Toth, Oleander and Mint, and Lisa "Coma Girl" Perz. Sticht will enforce his two-artwork-per-person maximum by posting "sentries" on street corners, and will publicly shame online any attendee he catches violating the limit.
At 8 p.m., Sticht and volunteers will distribute hand-drawn treasure maps to participants huddled outside the bar. After every stashed-away work is claimed, attendees will return to Laser Wolf and have their new finds signed by the artists over beers. He says food trucks and pop-up shops will be on hand in the adjoining Progresso Plaza.
"The whole hunt lasts a half-hour to 45 minutes. That's how fast the art goes," he says. "But there might be surprises for some people. We might let some people who missed out have a second chance. That's all I'll say about that."
The Art Scavenger Hunt will take place 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Laser Wolf, 901 Progresso Drive, No. 101, in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-249-8484 or "like" the 2013 Art Scavenger Hunt page on Facebook.