Archive for Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lawrence businesses hope Final Fridays program will draw art lovers to downtown

Lawrence could be the Santa Fe of the Midwest’

Handmade mosaic mirrors at the Phoenix Gallery will be 15% off at the sidewalk sale. 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.

Handmade mosaic mirrors at the Phoenix Gallery will be 15% off at the sidewalk sale. 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.

August 25, 2010


Past Event
Final Fridays

  • When: Friday, August 27, 2010, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Downtown Lawrence, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....

Final Fridays preview

This is it folks — <a href="">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.

Google Map

Final Friday Locations


Gene Wallace 7 years, 9 months ago

Final Fridays is a good idea. But how do you get the foot traffic and community interest needed to support this effort? Escondido, Ca is a city with a downtown similar to Lawrence. They have lots of art galleries and downtown shops and restaurants. How did they get the people downtown on Summer Fridays? In 2000, "Cruisin Grand" was started by the Escondido Downtown Business Association. Have a look at what they accomplished and what Lawrence can do with it's own "Cruisin Mass". Website: Company Overview: Cruisin’ Grand is produced by the Downtown Business Association of Escondido for the support of our hometown business district and for the enjoyment of our community. We especially thank the many Classic Car owners who have supported Cruisin’ Grand through these 10 great seasons. We can only say to all cruisers, sponsors, and supporters, a sincere “Thank you,” and “Let’s Keep It Rollin’!” Facebook Page:

WonderFair 7 years, 9 months ago

Wonder Fair: Art Gallery, Shoppe & Studio in association with DLAD's Final Friday's presents...

'No One Knows How Deep This Goes' Featuring the work of Sighn

August 27 - September 19, 2010

OPENING RECEPTION: (Final) Friday, August 27 // 6-10pm w/ musical guest Tanaka

Visit for further exhibition information, artist links, gallery hours and a whole lot more!

Mike Edson 7 years, 9 months ago

"Final Fridays" is a lousy name. It implies that this is the last Friday that this event will occur, but then it happens again next month. It's like a going out of business banner on a business that is still open a year later. Why not just call it "Last Friday?"

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 9 months ago

Because "Last Friday" doesn't solve the connotation you're complaining about, and lacks the alliteration.

Final Fridays is a good name.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Give it time to work. Phoenixville,Pa and Silver City,New Mexico have been doing well. In fact it is boosting their local economies.

Business people are friendly and keeping stores open. Lots of food, music and people.

It should work. If a bicycle or basketball event happen on the same week end things could really boom.

A great way to enjoy Lawrence.

Bailey Perkins 7 years, 9 months ago

So it's basically KC's version of First Friday....but in Lawrence. Doubt it will create as big of a hype, but it's worth trying and checking out.

ralphralph 7 years, 9 months ago

@pendragons We've been to Escondido, and went downtown, but not for "cruisin", but rather a French bistro and a violin concerto. The population from which they can draw is incomparable to Lawrence, but the fact that someone is trying something to provide a good reason to come to Downtown Lawrence is a good thing. Now, is there a nice, crisp duck to be found in Larry?

kernal 7 years, 9 months ago

They don't need to because the long established artists show their work at gallerys outside of Lawrence and outside of the state, but some of them will have their work in the Final Friday's exhibits.

1029 7 years, 9 months ago

Many cities across the country have "First Friday" art events. Kansas City's is actually pretty pathetic compared to some of them.

George_Braziller 7 years, 9 months ago

I went this month and the galleries and sidewalks were packed. There were so many people sometimes I had to walk in the street to get from one gallery to another.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 9 months ago

Before it can become recognized as "the Sante Fe of the Midwest" Lawrence needs to give artists and craftsmen permission to display their work in open air fashion, with the items and the artist both sitting on blankets spread on downtown sidewalks.

Similar to the existing Downtown Bazaar except more so, and done on a daily basis, weather permitting. Then it would be like Sante Fe, because that's how it's done in Sante Fe.

Bassetlover 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, excellent point! Lots of turquoise and silver on display too! Ohhhhhhhh, if only Lawrence had a Cafe Pasquals to go with it as well.

impska 7 years, 9 months ago

I was just thinking the same thing. Santa Fe is more than just a bunch of art galleries, part of the charm is being able to go to an open air market and buy art/crafts direct from the artist.

seriouscat 7 years, 9 months ago

I am excited about this, but the snob in me wishes they would first update and cycle out some of the godawful public art around town...especially that thing that looks like a furnace filter that greets you whenever you enter downtown from 6th.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

Are you where ideas go to die? We may never be the Santa Fe of the Midwest but I don't think there is any harm in having aspirations. If Final Fridays is a way for more people to come into town...I think that is a great thing. Only time will tell if it's worth it. If not, at least someone cared enough about this town to give it a shot.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

While your sarcasm is amusing it saddens me that you think so lowly of Lawrence. I enjoy this town and think it is worth investing in. Granted, not a huge fan of the K-Mart mentalities and rednecks myself...I still think the pros out way the cons.

BTW, you forgot to mention cow tipping tournaments.

bill_the_kat 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow it takes chutzpa to lecture an entire town on lack of sophistication with a screen name like ‘Powershopper.’

Did you get that name from the home shopping network?

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

Honestly, I can't disagree with most of what you said except I think Downtown is great and has a lot to offer. I also think we have a great art scene as well...not just arts/craft fairs. I just think instead of slamming the idea you should at least recognize that Lawrence is trying to do something different...and it just may succeed...or not. It's worth a shot either way.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

I understand what you are saying and am sure there is truth behind it. Lawrence does have an inflated ego, without a doubt, in many respects.

I think there are many talented artists in town, including some of the starving ones, and while it may never be a "hub" of art, I think Final Fridays will be a great way to experience Lawrence...even with the ego. We may not be a tourist's dream but people do like Lawrence and do visit.

verity 7 years, 9 months ago

"Are you where ideas go to die?"

Good one.

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

Santa Fe has scenery and history going back 10s of thousands of years. Lawrence has cornfields. We don't stand a chance. We should aspire to be the Olathe of Douglas county instead so people could afford to buy art.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually there is a lot of affordable local art in this town. I for one have bought several pieces of local art that were very reasonable. Also, we have a university here with tons of art students who sell their art for a steal! It's out there!

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

I have some signed lithographs from a former KU student and a present faculty member. They cost more to frame right than the actual artwork. My prize is a sculpture and the only self portrait in oil I know of by a well collected artist in Florida that has work hanging throughout several state buildings.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

Not quite sure what your point is. What does Southwest and More have to do with this? Santa Fe has a fantastic art scene, one Lawrence is aspiring to have. It isn't about turquoise, kokopelli, pastels and cacti.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

I think this is a great thing for Lawrence. Time will tell if it works out or not but I intend to support it. New ideas are always hard for the fuddy duddys to conceive...don't listen to them. I think this idea is worth a shot.

KU_cynic 7 years, 9 months ago

A Spencer satellite downtown is a great idea, and a much needed additional channel for town-gown relations.

It's not as if there's enough room at the Spencer already for all that's in the collection.

And it's not as if the occupancy rate on downtown Lawrence real estate is 100% and rent paying.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

Lordy, people! The whole idea of the name Final Fridays is a play off of First Fridays, which a lot of cities do now, including KC. Clearly Lawrence is not going to put itself in a postion to compete with KC's First Fridays b/c they want to draw similar crowds. It may not be the most creative name but people aren't that stupid...they will get it.

d_prowess 7 years, 9 months ago

I am pretty disappointed that this event is only 5pm to 8pm. Most people probably get downtown on a Friday after work around 6pm and then eat. So they might not even be done with dinner until 7:30pm. That leaves very little time for folks to walk around to the galleries. I really think that going until 9pm would be better for the overall participation.

oliveoyl 7 years, 9 months ago

I completely agree with you! This should last longer than 8pm if they want to people to actually come and stay.

scribe 7 years, 9 months ago

What a bunch of pooh-poohers! If you don't like it, don't go. Sheesh.

hawkergirl 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree 9 pm is a much better time to end this event.

blindrabbit 7 years, 9 months ago

Santa Fe my arse! Lawrence is closer to a Santa Clause reality than Santa Fe one. I go to S.F. all the time: Some of the differences Santa Fe has low humidity Santa Fe does not have drunks running around Santa Fe does not have a big homeless problem Santa Fe is a very tourist oriented city Santa Fe does not have cigarette butts and gum all over the sidewalks Santa Fe has a progressive population Santa Fe has a viable form of city government. Santa Fe is a package; architecture, art, food, style, dress, festivals! Santa Fe has a art appreciating community; not dedicated to Thomas Kincade!, etc. Santa Fe is a Western town, Lawrence is not sure where it belongs! I'll stop for now

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

Either Santa Fe or Albuquerque has 3 extinct volcanoes just across the Rio Grande. Anyway, all this talk of Santa Fe is way off anyway. Taos is the artsy fartsy town in NM.

George_Braziller 7 years, 9 months ago

How is Haskell being left out? It's an arts event happening and being sponsored by downtown. Galleries carry artwork by a variety of artists so artists at Haskell can sell their work through a gallery just like everyone else does. I'll bet you there's already some on display and for sale.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 9 months ago

"Lawrence could be the Santa Fe of the Midwest" The moon could turn into butter and fall on our pancakes.

fiddleback 7 years, 9 months ago

There's something a little desperate about the whole affair. I don't really expect the artwork to sell any better. Maybe at It's About Time since they're closing next month and everything's 40% off. Phoenix has beautiful craft pieces but seems to just get by, not thrive. Signs of Life always has tiresome pap to court art history-ignorant Baby Boomers - I won't go into SoL's not-so-subtle Christian allegiances, the James Dobson books in their store. Wonderfair goes too far in the direction of toss-off hipster cleverness; I can't see that selling. LAC has had some good shows here and there, but I still don't see things selling. Even mentioning Sante Fe is just pathetic. We simply don't have patrons with the money or aesthetic temperament to buy innovative fine art - and therefore most innovative artists wouldn't see the point of showing here.

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