The warm weather came to Bakersfield late this year but it's here just in time to heat things up for First Friday.

Fortunately those 90-plus degree temperatures we saw earlier this week will settle down for a more pleasantly warm evening on Friday. With an expected high in the mid-80s, it's the perfect weather for a local tiki getaway.

Bubble Pop Gallery made waves with its tiki-themed show last year, and now the “Tiki Bubble Beach Party” is back on.

"Personally, tiki culture is one of my favorite things," said gallery curator and artist Ashleymarie Sey Lively. "My house is tiki. My wedding was themed tiki. And last year we held the first one, and we brought it back again because it was so popular."

Held in the Fox Theater building's gallery space to the right of its main entrance, this month's art show includes work from 24 artists. While 14 of those are local artists, nine are from other states and one, Saskia Huitema, is from the Netherlands.

Local artists contributing pieces are Terry Tripp, Giki, Audrey Jarvis, Anna Hackler, Guilli Munster, Adam Christian Wentworth, GoodyK Art Styles, Cassandra Patrick, Phantom Stranger, Caroline McArthur, Blanca Aldana, Nate Parrish and Sey Lively herself, as Sey Studios.

National artists are Judy Oliva, Sonia Obran-Price, Tiki-Tony, Trader Brandon, Dr. Skipper, Tikay Room, BigToe, Kate Carleton and Stacy Standal.

Five of the contributing artists will be at the show on Friday to make live art and sell their work, the curator said.

While each artist will bring their own style to the show, all the pieces will be centered around the tiki theme.

"Tiki culture is about whimsy and magic and all that is tropical and fun," Sey Lively said. "Losing yourself in the ambience of sight, sound and color."

Adding to the tropical vibes will be the refreshments. Tiki-Ko will return for this year's show and, like last year, serve non-alcoholic tiki drinks that everyone can enjoy.

"Last year's drinks were so yummy," Sey Lively said. "I do not know what they will be serving, but the mystery is half the fun!"

Paleta Company will also be back this year with its "icy cool vegan delights," as Sey Lively called the ice pops.

As with previous Bubble Pop art shows, the art will move from the downtown space to Temblor Brewing Company, starting Sunday through the month of June. The work will also be on sale at, starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Sey Lively said the gallery is always looking for new artists, partners and sponsors to get involved with future shows. Upcoming themes include the Sports Art Show, Back to School, Sidekicks & Henchmen, Ghosts, and Magic & Wizardry. Those interested can email

For now, Sey Lively hopes art creators and art lovers alike will check out this month's tiki show.

"It's a time to celebrate the beginning of summer with this tropical kick off of fun," she said. "Bubble Pop Gallery provides a welcoming atmosphere and is free to attend. Meet some amazing creatives and people. Throw on your favorite Hawaiian shirt, dress up or down. All are welcome to this tiki party!"

The party goes from 5 to 9 p.m. at Bubble Pop Gallery, 2007 H St.

BAA shows

Summer is also a great time to get out and see the beauty of Central California, but for those who can't yet take a vacation, the Bakersfield Art Association's latest show is a chance to see the sights without leaving town.

"Kern to Coast" opens with a reception Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the BAA Art Center. It includes art by Cheri Sperl, Laura Valenzuela and Rhonda Martin, all Bakersfield artists.

Sperl has been painting for 10 years, starting out in acrylics before moving onto oils. According to BAA press materials, Sperl was inspired by the area's landscape, everything from the green spring hills to the sandy beaches.

Martin captures these landscapes in her photography, with photos taken of Tejon Ranch, Wind Wolves Preserve and more. 

Valenzuela is an oil painter who moved to Bakersfield 40 years ago and came to love the area's pastoral scenes through her artwork. 

The Bakersfield Art Center will also be holding a 75th anniversary celebration on Friday from 6:30 to 7 p.m. There will be a cake cutting and Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzales is expected to attend.

The Bakersfield Art Center is at 1607 19th St.

Down the street at Dagny's, the BAA Art Gallery will include work by photographer Martin Varga.

In his "The Art of Movement" project, Varga uses "energy and movement to challenge creative borders and stimulate imagination," according to the art center's materials. Using different techniques, Varga captures movement in photos with the goal of creating something never before seen.

Dagny's is at 1600 20th St. The opening reception will be Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.


The Bakersfield Museum of Art will have free admission and extended hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will also host its monthly free yoga session at 6 p.m. in the museum's garden. 

Its current exhibitions include "Platinum," photographs by Douglas Isaac Busch and E.F. Kitchen; "The Sublime," the 2019 Visual Arts Festival; and "Wake Up," art from students the museum's ArtWorks Program.

The "Golden State" exhibit, with selections from the museum's permanent collection, is also still open. 

Music at Cafe Smitten

Cafe Smitten will be hosting a different kind of art this First Friday, with music by The Huckleberry Band from 7 to 9 p.m.

The local band has been making music for decades, though sometimes under different names, including Dwarf Rat. Its music has a sound it calls "Dead Country," a mix of Grateful Dead and country music. 

The Huckleberry Band performed at Cafe Smitten back in February and is looking forward to returning this week.

Cafe Smitten is at 909 18th St.

Kelly Ardis can be reached at 661-395-7660. Follow her on Twitter at @TBCKellyArdis.

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