It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … a painting? Art lovers are in for a treat as the Gibbes Museum of Art and renowned Southern painter West Fraser are throwing a city-wide scavenger hunt to find a painting by Fraser hidden in a tree.
Fraser began his “Painting in a Tree” project back in 2009, challenging participants to interpret clues and find an original oil painting hidden in a tree. Clues to the location of the painting will be leaked weekly on The Gibbes Museum’s social media platforms and in the museum. The first clue, announced last Friday, says, “Orient yourself in this street scene depicting Charleston’s Old Exchange building and follow the direction of the viewer’s perspective to determine whether your hunt should begin north or south of Broad Street.” To receive clue No. 2, participants must journey to Fraser's current exhibition, Painting the Southern Coast
, at the Gibbes. The clue is on display somewhere in the gallery.
The hidden painting, which features a naturalistic landscape of a barren tree in a swampy area, was created in conjunction with Fraser’s current Gibbes exhibition, on display until April 30. A leading American artist in the representational and plein air tradition, Fraser is known for his atmospheric vistas of American and international cities, coasts and landscapes.
The lucky art lover who finds the painting will get to take it home. In exchange, Fraser asks whoever finds the painting to pay it forward as he has done, and make a monetary donation of any size to the Gibbes.
Head to the Gibbes to view Fraser’s collection and, while you’re there, keep an eye out for clue No. 2. The scavenger hunt lasts until someone finds the painting, and there are currently 10 planned clues.