Before we dive head-long into news from the city this week, I wanted to acknowledge the pleasant First Friday just ended. We may have caught the best weather for a February First Friday ever, as temperatures moderated under blue skies. I’m not sure the pleasant temperatures registered in the public brain because attendance in general seemed pretty light, to me. Part of that impression may have come from the fact that I hit the sights early as Urban Woman and I had dinner plans for later in the evening.
As a result of my limited time, I missed several stops I’d wanted to make. I had to hurry past George Brock and his wonderful photography at Union Avenue Books. Check it out when you get a chance. I also missed the art of Paris Woodhull at Rala. Anything Paris does is spectacular, so it’s worth stopping by there for, as well. I assume it is still up. I didn’t make it to the Art Market and, regretfully, I didn’t have a chance to make it to Happy Holler to see the latest work from Maggie Tankersley at Central Flats and Taps. It’s another you should check out if you get a chance.
So what did I do? I stopped into the UT Art Gallery and pondered “Configurations,” the art of Paul Sacaridiz. It’s about relationships in space and more. I’ll give you the description provided with the exhibition, “The work in this exhibition explores the non-objective and propositional quality that sculpture can have, and the ways in which we can understand something devoid of specificity and illustration. Presented on custom-built risers and linear structures, individual components are often physically or conceptually networked together with arrangements of objects ranging from the random and chaotic to the precise and articulate. Through careful positioning and intentional framing the works are suggestive of abstracted models and diagrammatic systems that allude to a sculptural logic that is both pragmatic and allusive at the same time.” Got that?
I stopped into Bulu Boutique where they’ve developed a nice space in their basement. My photographs of the art there didn’t do it justice, so they aren’t included here. The Emporium hosted any number of artists. I liked what Olive Durant is doing and enjoyed a back-drop of music by Cricket and Snail. The Flamenco dancers enchanted the crowd in the Black Box Theater, there. I wished I could have stayed for the performance by Emily Mathis who you should definitely watch out for and hear her if you get the chance.
The good weather was pretty important to me as I spent a good bit of time across the tracks. I stopped into Zach Searcy Projects and talked with Zach and his mom as well as his art teacher whom he’d mentioned when I profiled him last week. The work looked good and the studio was filled. Next I walked to Paulk and Co. on Williams Street, knowing that good things would be happening.
There was more than I’ve pictured here. SAFTA was on hand with poetry and sweets, food for the body and soul. Breastworks were offering Boobs for Sale in the form of photographs and calendars from their Paint the Tatas effort. I met an intriguing new artist, Caden Montgomery, whose large paintings dominated the room. The one he’s pictured with was completed in just the afternoon of the show. He’s someone to watch for in the future.
I also spent some time talking with Diane Corey, seen here with her photographs. She’s best known for her leather work and for Fashion Week. Recently she’s become interested in textures and lines in fabrics and common objects, finding beauty in the simplicity all around us. KnoxKnowHow incorporated some interactive art into the evening that people seemed to enjoy, as well.
My final stop was at Pretentious Glass where free beer from one of downtown’s soon-to-be brewers, Crafty Bastard, was flowing and keeping the visitor’s happy. Similar to my previous stops, the spot was packed. Aaron McClain and Jen Parker were dishing it out as fast as they could fill cups and it was a happy crowd. I also got a chance to talk a bit to Mr. Dupree and that’s always a pleasure.
It was a good First Friday with what seemed to me like pockets of crowds. Maybe we’re just spreading them out better, which is a good thing. Urban Woman found some good deals at Fizz and said they were open until midnight. If she saw that correctly, I’ll take it as a sign that maybe we’re expanding the night to later hours, which I’ve always thought would be a good thing. We ended the night with good friends, good music by Katie Free and Wendel Werner and good food at Bistro at the Bijou. Hopefully, if you missed this one, you’ll join us in March when we’ll do it all over again.