As we head into the final stretch of summer, the time to travel is now. That is, if the heat of July hasn't already sent you packing for the beach. But if there's no chance of taking a vacation this month, head to the Bakersfield Art Association's travel-themed exhibit for First Friday.

This month's exhibit is "People of the World," with work by local photographer Marsha Black. For decades, Black has photographed her world travels, taking photos of cityscapes, locals and animals.

As the exhibit's name suggests, the 12 photos in the collection will focus on people Black has seen in her travels. An opening reception for the exhibit will happen at the BAA Art Center on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

"The photos were taken over a period of many years from my travels," Black wrote in an email. "Primarily from Alaska, Australia, European countries and, most recently, Cuba."

Black moved to Bakersfield from the Bay Area five years ago, she said, so she and her husband could live closer to their son. While her husband was alive, the couple went on many trips. Now, Black travels with small group tours.

Travel photography was a natural combination of two of Black's biggest interests. She has been passionate about photography since she was a child and studied it through the New York Institute of Photography. She also taught photography in classes, using her book "The Accidental Photographer."

Black said some photos she loves the most are ones she has taken from visiting friends and family across North America. 

"Every trip has had its charms," she said. "I don't really have a favorite."

On any trip, Black will have an SLR camera by her side, prepared to capture anything that might catch her eye.

"I find something distinctive with every trip — sometimes nature, sometimes people, sometimes buildings," she said. "I always look for colors, lines and perspectives to enhance every subject. I use these basic rules of composition to enhance what I find to be distinctive."

The photographer encouraged people to come out to see the exhibit.

"A show that highlights the lives of people from all over the world is not a typical show," she said. "My goal is to attract art lovers who want to see something different."

The Bakersfield Art Center is at 1607 19th St.

At Dagny's, the BAA featured artist for the month is Iva Cross Fendrick, who works in oils, watercolor, acrylic and pen and ink. 

A lifelong artist, Fendrick is the daughter of Vina Cross, who was one of the founders of the BAA 75 years ago. 

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

Bubble Pop

School is almost back in session and Bubble Pop Gallery is celebrating education with this month's "Back to School Art Show."

The free opening reception will be on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. in the East lobby of the Fox Theater.

The show is set to include artwork inspired by favorite schools and teachers in pop culture. Expect to see characters from "The Magic School Bus," "Harry Potter," "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" and more. 

Featured artists include Caroline McArthur, Nate Parrish, Carmen Rincon, Sey Studios, Giki, Jonny Riel, Rachel Martinez, Hayden Love, GoodyK Art Styles, Margarita Pimienta, Ana Reyes and Fredy Paintz. Those first three artists will be at the show doing live art demonstrations.

Guests are encouraged to drop off new backpacks and school supplies for the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic. The supply drive is organized by Theresa Wooner Photography. The photographer is also offering a mini session for each donated backpack that includes the following supplies: a pack of pencils, a pack of pens, a pack of glue sticks, one package of loose paper, a three-ring binder, socks, binder dividers, a pack of erasers, a calculator, a pack of marker, a box of Crayons and scissors.

Space for the free mini sessions is limited, so contact Wooner as soon as possible if you are donating all those items in hopes of a session. Find her at Theresa Wooner Photography on Facebook.

All art will be for sale in person and online at bubblepopgallery.com at the start of the show.

After Friday, the show will move to Temblor Brewing Company, where the art will stay up for the rest of the month. 

The Fox Theater is at 2001 H St. Temblor is at 3200 Buck Owens Blvd. Suite 200.

Bubble Pop will also be at Saturday's Beale Mini Con from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. doing live art and giving information about the gallery.

Music downtown

Special First Friday performances will happen at two local food spots downtown.

The Jay Smith Group will be back at The Mark for its Jazz Fusion Weekend, which will continue on Saturday evening. Both nights the music will start at 7 p.m. The Mark is at 1623 19th St.

At Cafe Smitten, Stockton-based Christian band Parrish will perform original songs and some covers, starting at 7 p.m. 

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

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