I had another post planned for today but then I celebrated First Friday at Artistry Workshops and Gallery last night and felt compelled to write about how incredible the arts community is in Greenville. For those of you who have never heard of First Friday, it is a celebration of visual arts that happens on the first Friday of each month. 25 galleries and venues throughout downtown Greenville open their doors from 6 pm – 9 pm and invite the community in to meet the artists, explore the creative process, and enjoy spectacular works.
Last night was the first time I have thoroughly enveloped myself in the First Friday experience. Despite my best intentions, I am not often able to keep that First Friday night free each month. But this month I marked it on my calendar a couple weeks in advance and I could not be happier that I was able to enjoy the evening surrounded by so many amazing Greenville neighbors.
I arrived at Artistry Workshops and Gallery at 7 pm and meandered around, making conversation with other lovers of visual art. I examined the striking and beautiful work of Adam Schrimmer featured in the gallery. It’s obvious to see through his work and his conversation that Adam is an artist who believes that individuals should celebrate the uniqueness and creativity within themselves. It was truly a pleasure to meet him and have an opportunity to view his artistic expressions of passion and soul.
After a walk-thru of the gallery, I took time out to watch Ryan Calloway show off his blacksmith skills in a demonstration that was informative and entertaining. Then, I met Alix Bernard whose glasswork practically begged to be brought home with me and I happily obliged. I also met Mary Kathryn and Norm Pizzello, artisans at Artistry who will celebrate their 6th year in Greenville and their 15th wedding anniversary this month.
Beyond the inspiring art and passion of the artists, First Friday was enjoyable because of the fascinating individuals I met who were at Artistry to indulge their own First Friday fix. Taking part in conversations with fellow appreciators of all Greenville offers was a perfect way to end the night. Making connections with my neighbors is something I am passionate about and I am grateful for the opportunities that arise where I am able to meet more and more of them.
So, why am I telling you all of this? I am telling you in the hopes that you will begin to make your own First Friday memories on April 6th and continue to do so each month thereafter. With 25 galleries and venues, you are pretty much guaranteed to find an artist or work you enjoy and an interesting stranger with whom you can talk about it. Those of us who live in or near Greenville are very fortunate to have a fantastic downtown and a plethora of insanely talented individuals who reside within our community. First Friday is just another example of why loving local is so rewarding.