If it’s the First Friday of the month, you know what to do. Get yourself over to Broad St., just past Belvedere. If you drive over, chances are you’ll have a hard time finding parking, but it’s definitely worth the parking space hunt if that’s your only mode of transportation. A bicycle or your own two feet are probably the quickest way to get there.
“First Fridays,” is an event where all the art galleries (and some stores and apartment buildings) on Broad (and just off of Broad) open their doors to the public for the grand opening of their installments for the month. Some establishments that never fail to have good stuff are “Quirk,” “1708 Gallery,” “art6 Gallery,”and “Gallery 5,” but there are so many galleries that you end up walking into just about every one of them! Each has different styles of art to offer, “Quirk” has crafts and handmade jewelry, “1708 Gallery” and “art6 Gallery” both combine different types of visual art and performance art, as does “Gallery 5.” My friend Jess Burgess of www.jessburgessdance.com did a performance in Gallery 5’s upstairs gallery on this particular First Friday, and it was pretty awesome!
My favorite gallery just started a few months ago, and I was asked to be apart of the showings! It’s called “The Courtyard,” and it’s literally in the courtyard of an apartment building! The entrance is nothing but a small wooden door with the number 304 on it, just off of Adams Street, but when you walk down the hallway – where my photos were exhibited! (mostly lomo photos, of course) – it pours you into an area that is bustling with people. Heather and Shannon organize the whole event, there’s always bands playing, free food, and really good art ranging from photography, to mixed media, to jewelry!
Richmond Times Dispatch (one of the local newspapers) was there this particular Friday getting the skinny on what “The Courtyard” is all about. The video they made is posted here: http://www2.richmond.com/video/2009/sep/10/in-the-courtyard-at-first-fridays-98667/ and you can see some brief shots of the hallway full of the stuff I put up. Check out http://courtyard-rva.blogspot.com/ for more details on “The Courtyard.”
I don’t think I can hit on everything that is awesome about First Fridays in just one location entry, but you should definitely come to Richmond VA and check out First Fridays. You won’t regret it.