In line with the popular stereotype of the tortured artist, suffering for their work, is the art supporter in August, who will suffer 100-plus-degree weather. Of course, First Friday does not have to be a burden. Some spots on the ArtWalk offer shade and all the galleries and venues are running their ACs, rampant PG&E bills be damned. For the brave lovers of art, music and culture, here is what's on tap.
Support the art and the artists truly suffering for it at the Art Walk, which is centered at 19th and Eye streets and extends through the arts district. Overseen by the Arts Council of Kern, the Art Walk features dozens of hard-working vendors who may be sweating it out on the sidewalks, hawking their wares in the heat.
Younger Gallery features the new show "Synchronicity X3: Louie Chavez, Alberto Herrera, Nano Rubio." The dynamic display will feature works of intense colors paying tribute to the artists' ethnicity.
Herrera's work should be familiar to fans of the popular "Latination" exhibit held in September at Metro Galleries. The artist has won several awards in the annual contest featuring works celebrating Hispanic culture. Rubio's work has also been on display at Metro as well as the Bakersfield Museum of Art and their annual Via Arte outdoor event at The Marketplace. Chavez, a graphic design teacher at North High School, is relatively new to displaying in the local art scene, gallery curator Vicki Smart said but she is excited to share his work with the community.
The reception will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the gallery, 1430 Truxtun Ave. Suite 105.
Artist Joyce Umfress brings her watercolors to Dagny's Coffee Co. for her show, "New Vision Every Day." Although Umfress has painted in oil and acrylic for years — a skill honed in Bakersfield College classes she took while raising three children — she is drawn to watercolors. Working in the less-forgiving medium, the artist said she joyfully struggles to translate the vision in her head onto the paper.
“I have to remember that I'm not a camera and I don't have to paint all that I see!” she said in the newsletter for the Bakersfield Art Association, which sponsors the show.
The reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dagny's, 1600 20th St. Also on display is the ongoing group show "Bug Me," featuring work from Marsha Black, Patti Doolittle, Norma Eaton, Patti Embrey, Greg Hauss, Casey Hibbard and Catherine Malahowski.
At the BAA Art Center, Gary Knerr will present "My Life in Art," a collection of oil paintings. Knerr's life has included many accomplishments, including serving as a captain in the US Air Force Dental Corp. before opening a local practice in 1972, but art has never been far from him. The spark ignited at age 8 growing up in northern Wisconsin when his mother arranged a private art lesson for him and his two sisters.
Knerr has won “Best of Show” twice for his oil painting entries at the Kern County Fair, and for the past 15 years has made his own Christmas cards using scenes from his paintings. Last year he produced a book of his oil paintings inspired from his travels from Alaska to Switzerland. The work, which shares a title with the current exhibit, is available for sale.
The reception for his work will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the BAA Art Center, 1607 19th St.
At Metro Galleries, it has been quite the summer for artist Terry Tripp.
His exhibit, “My Trippy Wonder,” was unveiled in June and will remain on display through August.
That's a thrill for the artist, who was nominated for a Beautiful Bakersfield Award for creating an art gallery experience for his students at Golden Valley High School. The collection ranging from 46-by-60-inch paintings to 8-by-10-inch illustrations is full of cartoony and disproportionate characters and scenes inspired by the 1980s pop-culture palette of his childhood.
Tripp said he's received a lot of positive feedback from the two previous First Friday events.
"The reception turnouts have been filled with people of all age groups, as the paintings are relatable to teens as well as seasoned adults," he wrote in an email. "People have commented on how the text and poetry in the paintings have resonated with them personally. And overall, people have told me multiple times that the paintings are definitely 'trippy.'"
For those who have already seen the show, Tripp is adding a little something special, including some additional works that have not been on display.
The reception runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at Metro, 1604 19th St.
The Bakersfield Museum of Art (1930 R St.) continues its monthly free yoga event with Samsara Wellness Center. But what about the heat, you ask? BMoA has you covered. Instead of its usual run in the outdoor sculpture garden, the event moves inside to the museum's Raskind Banquet Hall running from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Bring a yoga mat, if you have one (some will be provided) and water to drink.
The museum also will remain open until 8 for those who would also like to view the summer exhibitions. Keep your cool at this chill event. Namaste.
The new downtown menswear store Blue Stag is making good on its promise to honor a “Blue Stag Guy” every month, starting with 23ABC anchor Tim Callahan.
The monthly campaign recognizes someone in the community doing good work and helps support a cause of the man's choosing. Ten percent of proceeds from sales on Friday (as well as the preceding Thursday and Saturday) will go to Marley's Mutts, the cause Callahan chose to support.
The evening runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the shop, 1901 20th St.
Let there be music
Along with the art, musicians come to play for First Friday. Marlon Mackey brings his showcase to Centro 18 Cuisine and Lounge (1517 18th St.) starting at 7 p.m. Stop in earlier and enjoy half-off happy hour, which runs until 10 p.m. The Aviators are ready to rock The Mark Restaurant (1623 19th St.) at 9 p.m. If your dance card is full, you can catch their encore performance on Saturday. And Mento Buru continues its First Friday tradition at Sandrini's Public House (1918 Eye St.). Along with the band's funky-ska-reggae tunes, the show, starting at 9 p.m., includes DJ Phate, who will spin between sets. Admission is $5.