Lowertown First Fridays kicks off the weekend

This week St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood is hosting another Lowertown First Fridays, an art crawl featuring local work in studios and galleries. Participants include artists with space in the Jax and Northwestern buildings, the Lowertown Lofts Artist Co-op, and the Tilsner Artist Cooperative, which are all within a few blocks of each other. Galleries and restaurants include AZ Gallery and Black Dog Cafe.

There will be a variety of work on display, though the artists who have open studios varies from month to month. Several Lowertown bars and restaurants also feature food specials and entertainment during this event, so it may be tough not to literally put the "crawl" in art crawl. If you do stop off, be sure to hold on to your empty wine or glass soda bottle, Julie Keller's studio isn't far away and she has a talent for re-forming glass bottles into serving trays. There's also Barbara Evan's studio in the Jax building, where you can check out her bright oil pastels, prints, and greeting cards. Other stops on your walk may include jewelry, photography, and sculptures.

Nearby the AZ Gallery will be hosting an opening night reception for artists Cheryl LeClair-Sommer and John Smaby. LeClair-Sommer paints pastel outdoor scenes of the natural world and Smaby works with bold digital images of urban landscapes. The exhibition is appropriately titled "Town and Country."

Lowertown First Fridays is an ongoing monthly event. The next First Friday is on September 3. Visitors can peruse artists' open studios from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For schedule updates and featured artists, visit Lowertown First Fridays. AZ Gallery's opening reception on Friday runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mother father crow
Mother father crow
Barbara Evan

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