Liverpool Biennial Fringe – Sept 6-9th.


Free Ice Water, Free Hot Coffee and Free Hot Supper are coming to The Brink in Liverpool, as part of the Liverpool Biennial Fringe.  Many thanks to Sally Tallant for putting me in touch with the amazing organization The Brink, which will host all three events.

Here is more information on each event.

The Brink
15-21 Parr Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN
T:  0151 703 0582

American Artist, John D. Freyer brings Fifty/Fifty, his collection of interdisciplinary, social practice art projects to the Liverpool Biennial Fringe.  Freyer will host three public events at The Brink;  FREE ICE WATER,  FREE HOT COFFEE, and FREE HOT SUPPER.  Freyer’s projects create a space for individuals, groups, and communities to have meaningful conversations about addiction and recovery.  All events are open to the public.  

FREE ICE WATER at 5pm on Tuesday September 6th, 2016 at The Brink

Free Ice Water is about conversation.  The project creates space for individuals, seated together in pairs, to have one on one, distraction-free, uninterrupted conversations about significant turning points in their lives.  At the end of each conversation participants share ice water from an aquamarine blue mason jar, add a token of the conversation to the jar, and sign and seal the lid.  At the heart of Free Ice Water is the humble American mason jar, transformed by social and community engagement into a vessel for conversation that is fragile, yet lasting.

FREE HOT COFFEE at 2pm on Wednesday September 7th, 2016 at The Brink

Free Hot Coffee is about connections.  The project revolves around a “Recovery Roast” coffee, a custom roasted coffee whose flavor profile is determined by local populations of men and women in long term recovery and their allies.  During this special one day event Liverpool’s own Neighbourhood Coffee will introduce participants to the rich history of coffee and the complexities of roasting, tasting and preparation options.  The end result of this event will be a new limited edition custom roasted coffee blend made especially for The Brink in Liverpool.  The project also builds connection between art and recovery communities to create a deeper understanding of the potential for creative expression and engagement to assist the recovery process. Finally Free Hot Coffee radiates out into the community with pop-up pour over coffee stations where the general public can engage with with people in long term recovery and their allies, and learn about the project, over free hot cups of “Recovery Roast” coffee.    

FREE HOT SUPPER at 5pm Friday, September 9th, 2016 at The Brink

Free Hot Supper is about community.  Participants, guests and passerby involved in the Free Ice Water and Free Hot Coffee events are given a token with the date, time and location of the closing event: a simple community supper.  Token holders can attend the dinner themselves or if unable to attend, are prompted to give the token to someone belonging to a population affected by addiction, from persons in long term recovery, to a parent or loved one who is grieving the loss of a son, daughter or friend, to a stakeholder in local government.   Free Hot Supper is a celebration of the opportunity for individuals, groups, and communities to have meaningful conversations about addiction and recovery during the entire week of Fifty/Fifty events.


TEDxRVA Pictures

TEDxRVA_Session 1 John Freyer

The Recovery Ride – Rained & Shined

Ready to roll! #FreeIceWaterRecoveryRide #JohnFreyer #1708gallery #Richmond2015 #uciworlds

A photo posted by 1708 Gallery (@1708gallery) on

On Friday night, an amazing group of people joined me on my custom modified “Water Wagon” for an alternative bike ride around Richmond. The tour included a few stops of significance on my own recovery journey but really followed the path that lead each of us on to that Bicycle. If I had not had that meal at Mama Zu’s with Brian and Paul, if Michael had not learned the accordion, if Hei Hei stayed in Hong Kong, and Devon not studied photo.. We all make subtle choices that lead us where we are. Thank you all for coming out, on a rainy Friday night to share your stories with me/us.


Last Chance, Final Week @ Mixed Greens

Don’t miss the final week of “New Dominion” at Mixed Greens Gallery in NYC.  The show closes on Friday July 17th.  There are still a few “Perfect Mason” jars and time slots available this weekend for one on one conversations.  Bring a friend, meet a stranger, talk to the staff at Mixed Greens. (they are very good conversationalists, talented artists, and all around cool peeps)

GIVE AWAY #1 – I will be giving away a signed, matted and mounted 8×10 Artist Proof (14×16 Archival Matte) to the first person to have a conversation in the gallery on TUESDAY 7/14.  (Just leave your info with the Staff @ Mixed Greens)

Also in preparation for the closing I will be listing a few objects on eBay this week to distribute “Free Ice Water” DIY Kits around the country.

Give Away #2 I am giving away a 2nd signed, matted and mounted 8×10 Artist Proof (14×16 Archival Matte) to the first holder of a DIY Kit to send me an update on their “Free Ice Water” conversation.

Don’t miss the group show that Artnet called a “Not To Miss Summer Show.” Including work by Sonya Clark, Noa Glazer, Arnold J. Kemp, Hope Q Ginsburg, Richard Roth and Ben Durham. Curated by Lauren Ross.


New Dominion @ Mixed Greens – Artnet Must See!

"New Dominion" @ Mixed Greens, Photo by Etienne Frossard, Courtesy of Mixed Greens.

“New Dominion” @ Mixed Greens, Photo by Etienne Frossard, Courtesy of Mixed Greens.

Artnet picked “New Dominion” curated by Lauren Ross as a must see summer show!

New Dominion @ Mixed Greens

Free Ice Water is currently on display at Mixed Greens Gallery, 531 w 26th St, NYC, as part of the New Dominion exhibition curated by Lauren J. Ross.  John Freyer hosted a series of one on one conversations in the gallery during the run of the exhibition.


John D Freyer – FREE ICE WATER

In 2013, John Freyer begun Free Ice Water, an art project in which he sits down with individuals for conversation over a Mason jar filled with ice water. Intended to be focused and uninterrupted, this conversation can be around personal, even difficult topics. At its conclusion, the participants sip the water, drop a small object of personal significance into the jar, then seal and sign the jar with its lid. This ongoing project is loosely based on therapeutic methods of treating substance addiction, and arose from the artist’s questioning of his own dependency on alcohol.

Free Ice Water offers the possibility of art as a gesture of giving; a humble service, free of charge, intended to encourage moments of self-reflection and sharing between people. Each jar offers something universal—water, one of the most basic, elemental needs—combined with something very individualistic, as captured in the object and signatures.

Lauren J. Ross, Curator
Institute for Contemporary Art
Virginia Commonwealth University

Bring a friend, find a boo, meet a stranger // Come participate in John Freyer's Free 💸Ice❄️Water💧 project ~ #freeicewaternyc

A photo posted by MIXED GREENS // GALLERY (@mixedgreensnyc) on

Grab a buddy, date or pick up a stranger in Chelsea & come participate in John Frayer's FREE ICE WATER project. #freeicewaternyc

A photo posted by MIXED GREENS // GALLERY (@mixedgreensnyc) on

Free Ice Water @ The Hive – VCU Institute for Contemporary Art

DSC05556 2

The twenty-five jars displayed here are the result of Freyer conducting sessions with participants of the Virginia Collegiate Recovery Conference, held at VCU’s Wellness Resource Center on March 27, 2015.