Thursday, February 05, 2009

Big B's First Friday Run Down


I love First Fridays. There are many reasons why, but just in general, I look forward to them every month (except last month-it was too cold and too January).

I heard it was supposed to warm up tomorrow, but I'm not sure what the evening will be like. I'm sure you'll need to bundle up in order to make the rounds.

I'm not one to study up on who's showing where. If I catch wind of a show that I want to go to, I'll make it a point to get there, but most First Fridays end up about the same way for me.

Due to the growth of First Friday down Central, I think the best way to get around is by bike. That way you're not confined to where you parked your car. But I'm not hardcore and therefore won't be biking tomorrow.

I'll park in the Market Square garage and walk to Gay Street. If I've heard something's going on, I'll stop in at Yee-Haw and silently admire their vast collection of letters and symbols for their letter press. Then I'll tell my friends what prints, stationery, and journals they can buy me on my birthday.

Then I'll walk down Gay Street (toward Nama and Sterchi). Here is the crux of First Friday- Gallery 1010, the Downtown Gallery, and the Emporium. All have food and the Emporium has wine. It's also where most of the shmoosing happens if you've attended the art department at UT (which, don't get me wrong, I enjoy once a month)- I may run into an old professor who will tell me where they went while on sabbatical or how their current students are. And I'll run into former studio mates that have stayed in Knoxville and we'll find comfort in the fact that we're both still waiting tables.

Somewhere in that process of walking back and forth across Gay Street, some man will politely ask my friends and I to check out Unarmed Merchants and we'll eat and drink while sitting on their gnarly benches made of trees. If you look up you'll see what else I want for my birthday. It's hanging from the ceiling.

As we step out of Unarmed Merchants, one of my friends will say: "It's too cold! Let's go watch a movie."

And then I'll whine, "But we haven't been to Fluorescent (at Central and Broadway) They have free beer and good food. And I still haven't been to the new Three Flights Up (near Old Gray Cemetery) or Ironwoods Studio (??). Come on, they have free cupcakes at Magpies."

And at least one of my friends will say, "Oooo. Cupcakes."

And we'll be on our way.

Don't let me fool you. It may sound like I just eat and drink my way through First Friday (which is all a part of it), but it is also, for me, most assuredly about seeing something new created by someone in Knoxville. It ain't New York, people, but I always see something endearing or profound, something that inspires me to keep on painting. And that assurance, on top of a belly full of cupcakes and wine, is a Friday well spent.

Note: The painting at the top is by UT professor Jared Sprecher. You can see it tomorrow at the Emporium. Also, other points of interest are LOX and the Birdhouse.

7 comments:

ck said...

good overview, big b. you need to take me over to ironwood studios! i've never had ebough gumption to go by myself.

Robert said...

bravo! let's do it up tomorrow - ive got prospective knoxvillians in town, and we need to do it up. we'll be in touch

Katie Ries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie Ries said...

Sara Marie Miller (at 1010 Gallery) will have lots of cakes (edible and otherwise). Annie Clark-Renkin will be serving dinner at the Birdhouse from 6 pm until the food runs out. Everything Annie serves comes from her gardens and those of her family. Thanks for the Birdhouse nod. We know its a trek from downtown, but hope to see new faces.

Big B said...

all this time we've not wanted to go to ironwood studio alone when we could have gone together... let's go tonight!

ck said...

alas... when i left that earlier comment, i forgot i was going out of town this weekend. next month!

The Modern Gal said...

i like to start with the cupcakes and then spend the rest of the night walking them off ...