Richmond's art community has a monthly "First Fridays" artwalk that includes lots of open galleries, gallery openings, performances, etc. I've considered going many times but so far have never actually gone. This time around, Amy was looking for somebody to go with and two of our friends - Heidi Field-Alvarez and Anna Golden - had work on display / for sale, so it was the perfect time to go.
Heidi was holding an opening at Main Art. I believe this is her first show. Her work incorporates a lot of creative use of textiles, such as quilted paintings. Anne of Cleves (2008-2009, below left), is one such example. Her floating embroidery pieces like Leda (2009, below right) attracted a lot of attention, as viewers went back for second, third, and fourth looks.
A couple of miles away, Gallery 5 was celebrating their 5th anniversary with an exhibit of photographs documenting the venue's history. Neither of us had ever been there before, and from the looks of the photos, we've been missing out! An anniversary silent auction kicked off that night, including Anna's 1 Story pieces. Check out her blog to read about them.
Once outside again, we had planned to visit another gallery or two, but discovered a conclave of fire spinners performing in celebration of the 145th anniversary of the burning of Richmond. (Must add here: I love living in the capital of the Confederacy. Really, I'm serious, no irony.) They completely captured our attention and we spent nearly two hours watching them. Well, I was watching mostly through my viewfinder - can you blame me?
There was fire spinning and fire hula hooping and belly dancing and fire eating and it was so, so, so incredible. Screw roller derby, I need to learn to play with fire.
Oh, and also, you never know whose butt you're going to end up checking out. The compelling fire spinner/eater in hot skinny pants whom Amy and I ended up referring to as The Mad Hatter turned out to be a guy I know from high school. I didn't realize it until somebody tagged him in my Facebook photos. He has lost not a drop of charisma since then. (Yes, Dan knows I was leching over the guy, and I know who he scopes, even score, we're married but not blind.)
All in all, fantastic night. Good friends, great art, exciting performances, photo opportunities, and new contacts. I'm up for May!