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New York, NY – August 1, 2009 – Visual artist Franck de Las Mercedes has taken upon the task of sending abstractly painted empty recycled boxes, with messages of Peace, Freedom and Hope; to anybody, anywhere in the world, for free.

The "Priority Boxes" project is a public art series that makes people reconsider their ability to influence change and question the fragility, value and priority of entities like peace. Each box, sent by mail to anyone who requests one, is both a canvas for a unique abstract painting and a platform for conveying a message. With labels that read "Fragile Contains: Peace, Freedom or Justice", the boxes are sent free, in order to convey that something of such priority as peace should not have a price and that art can be both inclusive and accessible.

The project which started as an experiment and is funded by the artist, donations and sponsors, has evolved into a movement that has been embraced by popular culture, schools and art educators across America. From his small New Jersey studio, the artist has sent over 6000 boxes around the globe, to countries in every continent without charging recipients a penny.

De Las Mercedes is in the process of creating a phenomenon that is as visceral as it is visual. The boxes fuse elements of painting, sculpture and conceptual art that transform the exhibition space into a broader environment than that of a gallery. By having the art on the outside for all to see, the addressees and spectators are incorporated as part of the work and the concept.

Franck de Las Mercedes is a New York based artist. FdLM's creations, from his large scale neo-abstract paintings, to the acclaimed public project "The Priority Boxes", have attracted great interest in his work recently and given him the opportunity to exhibit alongside important artists like Romero Britto and Robert Rauschenberg. In 2007, FdLM was invited by The Betty K Studio in New York to take part in an International Art Workshop led by teaching artists Olivier di Pizio and Gonzalo Belmonte of the Ateliers des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. Most recently FdLM is the subject in a film by Dan Yadin.

For more information visit FdLM's website and Priority Boxes page, or to arrange an interview with the artist: