With temperatures hovering around thirty and the sun staying out just a smidge longer these days, it was a perfect night to venture out and admire some art. Once again, First Fridays were in full swing for the year. I bounced to three places – Eastbank Art Gallery, Prairie Berry Eastbank and Exposure Gallery.
My first stop was at Eastbank. The place was quickly filling with eager-going art lovers. I love running into people I know as I attend these events more and more often. It’s fun to walk into a familiar place and see some friendly faces.
Eastbank was hosting artist receptions for Amy Kasten and Ryan Howard. Amy’s quirky collages and gorgeous jewelry were immediately eye-catching as you walked in the door. Her jewelry ranged from delicate necklaces to leather bracelets and her collages were small and colorful, filling the walls. Ryan Howard’s pieces were vividly soothing, showcasing impressionistic-like qualities in his locally-themed, landscape paintings. Carl Grupp‘s colorful watercolor landscapes caught my eye as well as Gerry Punt‘s pottery in the front room. Other artists were featured in the gallery space as well. Eastbank is always one of my go-to places for seeing art on First Fridays.
Shaine Schroeder had a unique event going on at Prairie Berry. Shaine has been busy putting the finishing touches on his first book, The Slow Dime. The book encapsulates every creation he has made, peppered with stories and anecdotes. A truly unique project. His pieces are also on display for the whole month of February at Prairie Berry Eastbank.
Exposure’s Spectrum show was a fun theme. Each artist was given a different color on which to base their pieces. Twelve artists. Twelve colors. Work by our very own Jess Miller-Johnson, Tory Stolen, Andrew Billion, Jeff Ballard, David Lethcoe and more, filled the gallery with a rainbow of colors. Sam Gesch was renting a space in the studio temporarily. His native-inspired work brought in a cultural aspect to the event. In the back room of Exposure, J.R. Anderson was showing his pieces.
If you haven’t been out to First Friday events before, here are three solid reasons, you should grab some friends for a night out.
1. It’s better than bar hopping. Most places offer free drinks and appetizers. And there’s usually intelligent conversations happening.
2. Networking. Socially or professionally. You can find new friends. Or make new business connections.