Friday, March 5, 2010

Deflowering a First Friday Virgin

It's not that difficult to do the First Friday art walk, right?

You walk, you go in places that look appealing, you look at art and hear music.

I've done it dozens of times, so I was more than a little surprised to be asked to be the guide for my friend (he'd only been once) and his date (she'd never been) at tonight's art walk.

Lead you around by the nose?

Why, sure, I can do that.

With ADA closed, we began at Ghostprint Gallery with Tom McCormack's acid etchings on steel.

They were striking: frameless, for the most past stark and industrial looking with holes to nail them onto the walls.

But they were also evocative and compelling.

Several had already sold, including my favorite, "Clear Skies Over West Bank Street," a view of the narrow street with houses on either side.

Gull was playing outside Lift, so we had to pause so my tour guests could experience the one-man phenomenon that is Gull.

I don't usually stop at Visual Arts Studio, but it was impossible not to tonight.

Greg Lewis' sculpture "Pamlico," made out of 87,000 toothpicks (stay with me here) was in the front window.

Lewis had shaped thousands of toothpicks into the figure of a mermaid kneeling.

She was about 5'8" from her knees to the crown on her curly head of hair (made of broken toothpicks; frickin' unbelievable).

The artist told me it took a year and a half to complete this piece; the selling price is $72,000.

Do yourself a favor and walk by the gallery to admire the work in the window.

At Turnstyle there was actually art in progress.

Mural artist Michael Owen was in the process of painting a piece commissioned by the store.

It was an image of a guy holding a record sleeve amongst shelves of records, and he was even painting as we spoke.

An exhibit of his paintings was also on display, all images of musicians.

Naturally I was curious about why he'd painted certain ones and he said that those were the people he listened to while painting, people like Lenny Kravitz, The Edge and Tracey Thorne

The latter surprised me, but I gave him a lot of credit for it; she does have an amazing voice.

It was my first time at the Eric Schindler Annex on Broad Street after which we made a stop at Art 6.

There we found a photography show by Lloyd Chaser; the black and white photographs in it were of Richmond in the snow and contained some stunning images given the subject and the weather.

Other pieces were shot out west and in Alaska and were in color, but it was the local shots that drew the most onlookers.

As a bonus, the three degrees of separation between me and one of my favorite blog readers was eliminated tonight when I was finally introduced to her.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to talk long and I would have loved to, but at least now I can recognize her when we attend the same functions, which we seem to frequently do.

Ahh, the thrill of the online world colliding with the real!

When we got to 1708 Gallery, I explained the significance of the lit squares in the sidewalk; oh, I was just full of good guide tidbits of information and they ate it up.

But shortly thereafter, they were getting hungry and it was nearing 10:00, so we decided to get out of Dodge (all the restaurants were mobbed) and head over to Carytown and hopefully away from the madding crowds.

We went to NY Deli for some good grub and loud dance music.

It was interesting though; I can't say I'd ever heard a dance remix of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" and now I can say I have.

By the time I took my fifth-wheel self and prepared to leave the daters at NYD, they were gushing about the evening.

The woman especially couldn't have been more impressed.

"I can't believe how fast that time went! That was so amazing! Thank you!"

Yea, well, anytime you need help walking, looking and listening and can't figure it out on your own, I'm your girl.

But I'm willing to bet that if you just got out there and gave it a try, you'd see how simple it really is.

But I'll keep my guide certification up to date...just in case.

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