All Phoenix art lovers always know what they’ll be doing on the first Friday of the month. First Fridays is a downtown Phoenix tradition that has been around for about twenty years. For this one night of the month, various galleries and art spaces in the downtown art district open their doors free of charge in an effort to promote the local arts businesses and support the community. First Fridays is sponsored by ArtLink Phoenix, which is a non-profit, volunteer-run arts organization with a mission to enhance the arts scene in Phoenix and help local artists develop interesting ways to showcase their work.
First Fridays is the largest self-guided art walk in the country. The event brings in tens of thousands people to all of the locations all around the city- and that number is growing every month! Starting at 6 p.m., arrive at the Phoenix Art Museum downtown, grab a map, and hop around from venue to venue using the free shuttles. Many of the venues are within walking distance of each other, but the shuttles make it easier to see much more. All of the participating venues will stay open until 10 p.m. As First Fridays started to gain popularity in the area, so many more local establishments have jumped on board, offering special deals to all the folks out and about that night.
Here are some spots to hit this Friday-
Modified/Arts- Modified Arts is a refreshing alternative to the traditional gallery, presenting art and sound in one to create an interesting contemporary arts experience. The gallery exhibits work with a national and international relevance and is always seeking to bring a fresh perspective to the local arts scene. They also regularly bring in a number of musical performances year-round. It’s one of the most unique galleries in the area. The gallery’s current exhibit is “Alan Disparte: Recent Paintings and Videos.”
Holga’s Art Commune- This space is literally a worn down fifty-year old apartment building in downtown Phoenix. It houses struggling artists, who are attracted to it because its spot on the First Friday lineup provides them with both exposure and low rent. Years ago, it was known as a musician commune that played monthly shows on the front yard. The spirit of Holga’s is still very much alive today, and you can witness it all in an intimate casual setting on First Fridays.