Final Fridays preview
This is it folks — <a href="http://www.lawrence.com/events/2010/aug/27/39986/">Final Friday</a> is happening! A.D.D. presents the best companion podcast for anyone interested in Lawrence's first Final Fridays, including a comprehensive list of locations and details.
Lawrence tourism leaders are hoping that Friday eventually will be remembered as the day that Lawrence took its first big step in becoming known as the art capital of the Midwest.
“We already have a reputation for the arts, but I know there is a feeling among some of us that Lawrence could be the Santa Fe of the Midwest,” said Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. and a board member of the newly formed Downtown Lawrence Arts District. “I think there is huge potential.”
On Friday, the arts district group will host its inaugural Final Fridays event. More than 30 galleries, restaurants and shops downtown have agreed to host art exhibits ranging from painting and sculpture to music and film.
The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participating locations will have a yellow flag stationed outside their doors.
“We’re thrilled with how this is starting,” Pennington said. “People are just coming out of the woodwork who want to be involved with this.”
The group plans to host the art event on the final Friday of each month. Pennington said she expects the number of participating locations to grow, and for the type of art showcased also to expand. A dance troupe already has agreed to participate in next month’s event.
Downtown art sellers are excited about the possibilities.
“The galleries downtown always have known each other and been friendly, and we’ve always had the goal of getting the larger community interested in Lawrence’s art scene,” said Kelly John Clark of Wonder Fair, a gallery at 803 1/2 Mass. “But we haven’t had the event that really creates that buzz. That’s what we’ve been missing.”
Pennington said the Final Fridays event has had broad support from downtown businesses. Two property owners have allowed vacant buildings to temporarily be converted into gallery space. A portion of the Hobbs Taylor Loft building, 730 N.H., and the former Maurice’s building, 739 Mass., both will house dozens of pieces of art.
Other participating locations include: 1109 Gallery, 1109 Mass.; Wonder Fair; Diane’s Artisan Gallery, 4 E. Seventh; Frame Woods Gallery, 819 Mass; It’s About Time, 816 Mass.; Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.; Lawrence Percolator, 940 N.H; Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.; Phoenix Gallery, 919 Mass; Signs of Life, 722 Mass.; Through a Glass Productions, 1009 N.H.; Van Go Mobile Arts, 715 N.J.; Goldmakers Jewelry, 723 Mass; Aimee’s Cafe & Coffee Shop, 1025 Mass.; Wheatfields Bakery Café, 904 Vt.; Love Garden Sounds, 822 Mass.; People’s Optical, 737 Mass.; White Chocolate Experience, 933 Mass.; The Etc. Shop, 928 Mass.; Dynamite Saloon, 721 Mass.; Eccentricities, 716 Mass.; Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass.; Invisible Hand Gallery, 801 1/2 Mass.