First Friday in Tallahassee

by: Kati Schardl, Cultural Expert

Every month, I recharge my cultural batteries and refresh myself by making the rounds of the regular First Friday Gallery Hop. It's one of my favorite arty things to do in Tallahassee.

Along the way, I have made some wonderful friends - artists whose work I've admired (and purchased) and gallery owners who offer space and shelter for those artists. The gallery hop is nothing if not a social affair - you can hob-nob with old and new pals while browsing for art and other treasures.

Lately, I've been concentrating my First Friday perambulations in the Gaines Street area. I like to stop by Two Moon Trees, a gallery/performance space owned by Pat and Erica Bea Puckett, where I'll find tasty snacks, live music (Pat is a singer-songwriter who's been making fine music in Tallahassee for many years), poetry readings and modestly priced, cutting-edge art and fine crafts. Visit the Two Moon Trees Facebook page for all the details.

I'm betting the funky eclectitude of Gaines Street has even more fans after the Wild in the Street festival a couple of weeks ago. Organized to showcase the merchants and venues in the newly renovated portion of the street, it drew locals to the area to listen to bands, shop in the stores and galleries, and check out the ambience. The fest was such a success that organizers plan to make Wild in the Street a regular event.

I am also a devotee of the Circle the Square First Friday event in Railroad Square Art Park. There's something for everyone, and the people-watching can't be beat. On stages throughout the funky former industrial park, you can hear live music (from acoustic Americana to jazz to swing to indie to hip-hop). Members of the city's ever-expanding fleet of food trucks gather to feed the masses, there are usually fun hands-on activities for the young 'uns and you get to peek at the artistic process as artists open their studios to the public.

And just to mix it up, I like to wander the city in search of other First Friday openings and events at venues such as Quincie Hamby's studio next to Art of the Find on Thomasville Road, 1020 Art and the other galleries on the Art Showcase Trolley route and venerable (but exciting) LeMoyne Art Foundation in the heart of downtown.

It's a win-win situation - and don't be surprised if you go home after a First Friday ramble with a new piece of art.

 

Kati Schardl Author:

Kati Schardl

Cultural Expert

Bio:

Kati Schardl is the Features Editor for the Tallahassee Democrat. She’s a true North Florida native – born in Panama City and raised in Marianna. She came to Tallahassee to attend FSU and earned a social work degree before yielding to the scruffy allure of journalism and joining the staff of the Florida Flambeau. Her cultural credentials include a stint as backup singer for legendary local band Cold Water Army (now, alas, defunct) and founding membership in the SPACE arts collective in Railroad Square Art Park. After more than a decade of serving as office manager and chief research assistant/go-fer for the St. Petersburg Times capital bureau, Kati joined the staff of the Democrat as music writer and theater critic. In 2006, she was awarded an NEA Fellowship that enabled her to spend 10 days in Los Angeles seeing plays and attending writing workshops hosted by the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Kati lives in Midtown West and loves its eclectic funkitude and its proximity to her favorite cultural hotspots.

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