Not a joke, not even a little bit. You think this is a game?
New to town? Or old to town but don’t get out much? First Fridays are when a million galleries and gallery-ish spaces downtown have art exhibit openings and other various goings-on. Here is a handy map!
While your friends are playing lame April fools jokes on each other, you can escape to the arts district, where only funny jokes and beautiful things are allowed. Here are just a few of the many wonderful things happening this First Friday.
1. 1708 Gallery
Adam Schecter’s wonderful, animated work “New Year” will be at 1708 this Friday–good news for all who have not yet seen it. Schecter tells a complex, multilayered story with striking animations, projected and laid over one another. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Check out this video if you have trouble visualizing things, or just want to get even more excited to see “New Year” in person.
2. Ada Gallery
This Friday is the opening of VCU professor emeritus and long-time Richmonder Bernard Martin’s new exhibit, “The Authentic Death of Vincent van Gogh.” In this sequence of paintings, Martin explores the death of van Gogh. He writes, “Vincent Van Gogh died early on the morning of July 29th, 1890 of a gunshot wound to his abdomen. The few people of Auvers who had any concern over the death of this extremely peculiar, difficult, and unsuccessful artist were uncertain if the wound was self-inflicted, accidental, or perhaps, even a homicide. Little or no attempt was made at the time to clarify the events leading to his death.” 1 Be sure to head to Ada Gallery to check it out.
3. Black Iris
After all of the evening’s visual excitement, your eardrums may feel a bit left out. Little will they know that you, in your quiet, compassionate way, have decided to treat them to the soundscapes of Retribution Body and Gardener at Black Iris Gallery. Retribution Body is Matthew Azevedo, a musician, audio engineer, teacher, and sound wizard par excellence hailing from Boston. His work is otherworldly and deeply moving–more concerned with texture and resonance than melody, a sort of sonic meditation.
Gardener is the solo effort of Dash Lewis, one of Richmond’s own. His music is also highly layered, but makes more use of vocals to add to the ambience. Be sure to check these artists out, even if you can’t make the show. But do your best–your ears are counting on you. Show starts at 8:30 PM, and Black Iris recommends a $6 to $10 donation.
“Subject to Change” is a wonderful group exhibition that investigates memory and history through physical objects. Participating artists revive lost or discarded objects, breathing new life into them through their own artistic responses. I highly encourage you to check this out this Friday. Barring that, be sure to stop by Candela before the exhibition ends on April 23rd.
Strange Bedfellows is a wonderfully imaginative comedy show that pairs actors and improvisers together for an odd, wonderful mixture of scripted dialogue and off-the-cuff response. 50% scripted, 50% improv, 1,000% funnier than your friends’ jokes. Unless your friends are in this show–in which case, you should probably be planning to attend anyway. The show kicks off at 8:00 PM, and will run until 9:30. Tickets are $10.
Beginning at 6:30 PM on Friday, Endeavor RVA will throw open its doors for a night of art and music. I am particularly excited about this show, entitled Taking Hold. Seven artists will be showing work, all of whom are doing exciting things–worthy of special mention, I believe, are Alex Beck and Victoria Borges. Take a look at their work if you need one more reason to be there. The bands performing for the evening are: California Death, Moonlight Beach Club, and the Solar Tantrums