“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

This Friday evening, December 5th, 2014, you really must start the holiday season at the great annual South End’s First Friday Gallery – a wondrous experience you just cannot miss!!  Join our local artists and their supporters as all area studios and galleries open to excited folks scouting out the beautiful creations by our amazingly talented local and regional artists.   This amateur artist/lawyer has always loved this fun and inspiring opportunity to view fabulous works of art and hopefully add a new piece to your growing collection.

You will feel the excitement in the air as soon as you round South End’s Camden Boulevard.  Be careful where you park, as spaces are limited and folks are anxious to hit the galleries asap (last year, I got wedged into an impossible space and spent my art money repairing the dent the other guy’s car left on mine).  You’d be wise to plan ahead and take the light rail (get off at Bland Station) or carpool and it’s really a lot more fun to share this wondrous evening with others.

Drop by the Lark and Key to see Duy Huyhn’s latest ethereal and poetic paintings and consider how great that new ceramic bowl will look on your table; check out Ciel’s sparkling mosaics and pick a colorful piece to set off your holiday decor; then head over to the Dilworth’s ArtisansStation and crawl with others through as many galleries as your soul can handle (they will all be open for this extraordinary evening) and linger over the exceptional offerings from 6-9 p.m. and soaking in the wine, food and excitement that great art can encourage.  Guess how many more former Andy Braitman students opened studios this past year and see how his amazing gifts as an artist and teacher continue to endow our community (oh to be back in his class).  You may even catch a glimpse of the master himself!

Mosey on down to the Charlotte Art League to peruse the various clever artworks by their many members.   Then enjoy the equally inventive treats offered by the foodie trucks across the street or at one of the fabulous restaurants you passed as you popped into Hiddel Brooks, the stunning Elder Gallery and Crosland Studio to see their featured works.   From Luciano’s to Cooper to the classic 300 East, feast on the unique menus offered for this once-a-year artistic extravaganza.

With the recent closings of Red Sky and Maddi’s, it is ever the more important that we must join together to support the arts and what they bring to our community.

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time.  Always listen to the art.” ~ Juno Diaz

Take your time and listen to your heart this holiday season ~ artfully yours, nicki