Dallas Artist's Effort to Help Local Businesses and Spread Joy

Jordan Edwards is a chef by trade who is making art to fill his free time, and help local businesses

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When COVID-19 closed restaurants, Jordan Edwards, a head chef at a Dallas restaurant, turned to his other love: art.

"This is, like, the home base of the Free Art Project," Edwards said sitting down to work in his garage studio. "These are 'art buddies','" he said as he painted blocks of scrap wood with whimsical faces. "They're just sweet creatures."

Edwards was a head chef at a Dallas restaurant. He was looking for something to occupy his time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed restaurants, and recent curfews kept some of them closed.

"The service industry took a really big hit," Edwards said. "And I just thought, you know I really want to show...some love."

So Edwards started the Free Art Project. He paints 'art buddies' to display in front of local restaurants around Dallas, then posts the scavenger hunt on social media, in hopes of bringing them business. His first drop was in front of Bangkok Inn in Lakewood.

As the name implies, the 'art buddies' in the Free Art Project are free for the taking.

"I just wanted to spread some love," Edwards said. "The only desired outcome was to spread positive energy."

Edwards is preparing for his 10th art drop over the weekend. He said in the coming weeks, he will place 'art buddies' in front of black-owned businesses to help highlight them.

"There's a lot of people hurting right now," Edwards said. "Love is the way you show your intent."

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