Saturday, August 8, 2009

First Friday on South First Street - Part 1 in a Series of 3

If you walk down South First Street between San Carlos and Reed on a weekday it's usually pretty quiet. You'll probably notice some intriguing storefronts and vibrant murals but not too much going on. However, on the first Friday evening of most months, the street comes alive with artists, craftsmen, musicians and performers and art lovers of all ages. Galleries set up tables of food and drinks (mostly for purchase and a few for free) and the public is invited to wander in and out of galleries to enjoy the wide variety of exhibits and even meet and talk to the artists.
My first stop was the mural where one of the muralistas was signing his name. People were helping themselves to treats from platters of cookies decorated with bright purple dahlias.
Next was an exhibit called "Polar Identity" (complete with a polar bear handing out otter pops) and the flag exhibit (pictured above), which recreates an installation at the South Pole and is a tribute to significant events there.
From the arctic cold I went to watch the flames of the talented glass blower Lionel Chapital as he gave a demonstration on glass-blowing and viewers were invited to sign up for free glass blowing lessons with the San Jose Glass Artist Alliance.
Next stop was MACLA where I had the privilege of listening to artists talk about their work as part of the Chicana/o Biennial Artist Talk. The exhibit was wonderful with works of art made of wide ranging materials including khaki fabric (for a cactus) and plastic spoons (see above). The Friday Art Walk was just too much for one blog entry and so I'll be posting more in the days to come.

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