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.