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South Side Artist Makes Thousands Of Free Paintings

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

CRAWLEY Dave Crawley
Dave Crawley joined KDKA in April of 1988 where he reports on the...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Imagine painting more than 2,000 works of art, then giving them all away.

Just like her paintings, one South Side artist is one of a kind.

“Hi. I’m Ali Spagnola, and I have an art project where I let anyone email me to request some art.” The twenty-something artist speaks to viewers on her website, www.alispagnola.com. ” I paint whatever they ask for, and I mail it to them for free. I call this project: ‘Free Paintings.'”

“I swear there’s no catch,” she adds. “There’s not even a charge for shipping.”

Meanwhile, the artist works on yet another painting, in her South Side apartment. The sculpture major from CMU kept her 1,000th, and her 2,000th paintings. The rest? Website freebies.

“They can describe whatever they want me to paint and I will paint it,” she explains. “They get added to a wait list, and as soon as I get to them, it’s their turn, I paint it, and mail it to them for free.”

The free paintings waiting list is numbering now in the thousands. She has a couple dozen paintings that were done for people whose emails have changed, so she can’t connect.

Why does she do it?

“I love to paint,” she explains, “and they would just start stacking up in my apartment, so I might as well give them to the people that want them.”

The versatile artist has also written and performed four albums and taken the stage in clubs from coast to coast.

“I perform 60 songs , all of them one-minute long,” she says. “And in between each song, everyone drinks together. So it’s like a collective game.”

Meanwhile, she continues to whittle down that waiting list, one painting at a time.

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