February First Friday Preview

As seen in this morning’s Rochester City Newspaper

The bitter cold may be tempting you to stay in and skip February’s First Friday, so I’m here to tell you what you won’t want to miss. The monthly city-wide gallery night is held by non-profit, university, and commercial and indie art venues, where we all trot about from station to station, filling our eyes and ears with what’s new and exciting in our community. On Friday, February 4, 6-9 p.m. (and sometimes later) you can check out art openings, poetry readings, and musical performances in various locations. Visit firstfridayrochester.org for a list of this month’s participating venues, and check out all the flyers in cafes and such for more events happening the same night. Here are just a few:

Start your night off with a preview of art’s future with the Fourth Annual Invitational Showcase for Student Artwork at the Bevier Gallery (RIT, Booth Building, 132 Lomb Memorial Drive, 475-2646), 5-7 p.m., which includes work from more than 300 area middle- and high-school art students.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center (137 East Ave., 461-2222) will present its annual Mentors & Makers exhibition, this year featuring new sculpture by artists and educators Wendell Castle and Nancy Jurs, and their former students Tom Lacagnina and Bethany Krull. The reception takes place 8-10 p.m.; while there, check out the LAB Space exhibition, “Charlie Arnold: Pioneer of Electrostatic Art,” which is part of the “Thaw” area-wide collaboration of simultaneous shows.


A new work by Wendell Castle, part of the "Mentors & Makers" exhibit opening at Rochester Contemporary.

Another “Thaw” exhibition opens Friday at the Hungerford Building (1115 E. Main St.), with “Thaw: Melting Hearts” at Crocus Clay Works (Suite 225, 414-5643), which will include a variety of ceramic works by Christine & Brian Krieger, Sabra Wood, and Jennifer Buckley. The Main Street Artists’ Gallery & Studio (Suite 458, 223-2006) will feature art by Christine Norris as well as original small works.

Also part of “Thaw” is “No Boundaries: New Expressions in Black Art,” which opens 6-9 p.m. at the Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., 563-2145) and will include works by Hiram Cray, Edreys Wajed, Michelle Harris, and Shawn Dunwoody.

“Shedding Light” by Pamela Vander Zwan will open at Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St., 442-8676), with a companion show, “A Reading Room for Shedding Light,” at the Link Gallery at Central Library (115 South Ave.). The reception takes place 6-9 p.m. and will feature work that “asks fundamental questions about participation in democratic society” (per the press release) through the pairing of “photographs of blindfolded people in situations that demand the use of sight or adaptation to a lack of sight,” with Braille reading stations “that put the viewer into a situation in which sight does not automatically equal awareness.”

Since the bar stays open until 2 a.m., the “Lux Be a Lady” show at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave., luxlounge.com) might be your last stop of the evening, though the opening’s official hours are 6-9 p.m. It’s ladies night for the next month or so, featuring work by Rheytchul Chickenbone, Sarah Rutherford, Stacey Mrva, Juni Moon, Lea Rizzo, and Sara Purr.


I'll drink to this.

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