Although it's not easy to haul ourselves out of this post-holiday haze and get into the swing of things, some folks are determined to make First Friday a fun night downtown. Here's a sampling of what's on tap.

The Bakersfield Art Association challenged its artists with a grand local topic for this month's group show: the Kern River. This exhibit is a celebration of the vital local resource. Scenes are depicted in oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings as well as photographs.

Participating artists are Jim Bates, Randall Bergquist, Edwina Davis, Norma Eaton, Iva Fendrick, Shirley Rowles, Sissy Ullman and Charlotte White.

In addition to the art display, students from Bakersfield College will present poetry written in tribute to the Kern River. The reading will take place at 6 p.m. and the works will be on display throughout the reception that runs until 8 p.m. at the BAA Art Center, 1607 19th St. For more information, call 869-2320 or visit

Over at Dagny's, Richard Hofferd will let people into his world with a display of autobiographical and other work on display at the coffeehouse. 

The lifelong artist was aided in his pursuits by a full scholarship to Brooks School of Arts, obtained by entering two drawings in a Santa Barbara competition exhibition, and a supplies grant from members of the Bakersfield Art Association. He returned to Bakersfield with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Santa Barbara Art Institute and enrolled in the School of Education at Cal State Bakersfield in 1975.

For more than 40 years, Hofferd has served as a substitute teacher and held other odd jobs while pursuing his art. He has exhibited at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, Covenant Coffee and The Kern County Fair.

In the BAA newsletter, Hofferd shared he is fond of using graphite pencils and markers to doodle, sketch and render objects or forms "worthy of study and recognition as if inventing things, even movement that would rarely be."

An artist reception will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Dagny’s Coffee Co., 1600 20th St.

Along with all the restaurants downtown, attendees might be looking for a simple snack. Local business Loads of Loaves will hold a "limited-time layout" pop-up by Jerry's Pizza that evening.

Known for making dessert breads, the business will offer free samples (while supplies last) of six flavors of bread. Those varieties will also be available for purchase in petite, mini, and whole loaves. 

Guests can check out the sweets from 4 to 9 p.m. (or until items are sold out) in the alley of Jerry's, 1817 Chester Ave.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct identify that students from Bakersfield College will conduct the poetry reading at the Bakersfield Art Association Art Center.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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