First Friday Gallery Crawl

The First Friday gallery crawl is a unique opportunity for thousands of students, families and art lovers to engage with local art each month at unique locations in downtown and throughout the city. This grassroots event continues to thrive because of the collective vision and collaboration of galleries and artists.

As the name implies, First Friday happens the first Friday of each month. Hours vary between galleries, but most are open during the core hours of 7pm to 9pm. Most galleries use First Friday to unveil and debut new shows or as a closing reception. All venues are free and open to the public and several galleries incorporate artist demonstrations and/or live music. Not only does this event give guests the opportunity to view creative art space, it also is an excellent time to purchase one-of-a-kind artwork directly from artists.

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First Friday May 7 Events

Alley Doors
Various Locations in Downtown 
(316) 573-6365
Explore the urban core and find unique doors featuring artwork created by Kansas-based artists. These one-of-a-kind doors are a part of the Alley Doors project, which repurposes alley and back-of-building doors into a discovery-driven urban gallery. View a list of the doors and use an interactive map to find them at downtownwichita.org/alleydoors.

Downtown Wichita received a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to create these unexpected art destinations.


Featured Artists & Locations

Aaron Jackson Bowman – The LUX

Ande Hall – Hotel Old Town

BIGMENTION – Belford Electric

Lindsey Kernodle – High Touch Technologies

Matthew Miller – Orpheum Theatre

Rebecca Hoyer – The Kaufman Building

Robin Valenzuela – Roxy’s Downtown

Art House 310
310 S. Laura 

Featuring artwork by Kevin Kelly

Exhibition Hours: 6-10 p.m.

Exhibition runs through May 23, 2021

KEVIN KELLY was born in 1978 and raised in Colorado and Kansas. He received a Bachelor in art education from Wichita State University in 2001, and began teaching at Wichita West High School the same year. He earned his MFA in painting from Wichita State University in 2008. His artwork is held in many private collections and has been recognized through the I Like Your Work podcast, the Golden artist residence, the Harvester Arts Community Fellowship program, and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Commission. Kelly has been featured in group and solo exhibits in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New York for the last 15 years. His work has been featured in several publications, including New American Paintings, Studio Visit magazine, and the book Wichita Artists in Their Studios.

Art House 310 will disinfect public areas before and after the event. Masks are required when entering Art House 310 and we strongly encourage you to practice safe social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be provided.

CityArts
334 N Mead St 

Featuring artwork by Cary Conover

Reception Hours: 5-8 p.m.

Together 21 mixed media artwork by Northeast Magnet High School Students. Behind the Lens, photographs by James Mitchell, CPP in the Main Hallway Gallery. In the Balcony Gallery, An Abundance of Colors & Creatures by Jamie Briggeman. And Greetings from Afar, mixed media by Ranal Harrell Young. 

The exhibition runs through May 21, 2021

Club Hope
11931 W Central Ave 

Through the Eyes of a Survivor

Featured Artist: Ray VonFeldt

Painting with oils, Ray VonFeldt was a local artist for many years. When he was given 4 months to live, he joined a cancer survivor workout & support group. He lived an additional 2 years, regaining his zest for life and love of painting. His damaged lungs could not survive bacterial pneumonia, and he passed away on February 12. Close friends from his survivor group are displaying and selling his paintings to benefit his wife. This is the first time they have been made public. His paintings hold a mesmerizing beauty and talent that honor his life.

Friends University (The Art House)
2314 W. University Street 
(316) 295-5677

Make Your Mark

Reception/Event Hours: 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Featuring Artists: German Andrade, Samantha Camden, Micaela Dixon, Rachel Masterson, Julianna Mattson, Courtney Nichols, Isabella Smith and Amanda Williams

Friends University Senior Art Students are Making Their Mark on the world. Walk away feeling inspired to Make Your Mark too! Each artist in this exhibition uses a different media that will create a very diverse and exciting show. Join us for an indoor exhibition with other outdoor interactive creative activities!

Masks required for entry.

Gallery XII
412 E. Douglas 

Featuring artwork by Shari Bevan and Robin Lies

Shari Bevan, a relatively new member, is having her first exhibition as the featured artist. Her paintings have an emphasis on the landscape but she is willing to vary her approach from painting to painting.

Our consignment artist will be the well-known local glassworks artist Robin Lies. The show will be on view to the public till May 29th.

View through May 29th

Reception/Event Hours: 12:00-8:00pm

Monica's Bundt Cake (Located at Revolutsia)
2721 E Central, Suite 102 (Revolutsia) 
(316) 630-9555

Featured Artist: Eileen McNeill

Exhibition Hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Join us during First Friday to preview some great local art! 

Full Exhibition: Closes on June 1, 2021

 

Reuben Saunders Gallery
3215 E. Douglas Ave 

Loose Change: Rainbows in the Couch Cushions

Exhibition Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm

"To me, the point of painting is to challenge myself. It is to create something that I want to sit in front of and look at while drinking coffee. Painting is about process. It is about the puzzle that all painters confront whether that be the technical, emotional, or intellectual. It is about making choices. We all make choices to facilitate change, or to freeze time in its tracks. Artists make choices. Collectors make choices. These are theirs to make. Loose Change is about those choices that change or don't change our lives." -Richard Davies

Featuring Artist: Richard Davies with complementing 3D work by Curt Clonts, Chris Brunner, Denise Irwin, Marc Durfee and Tyler Kimball.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our event is structured to keep everyone as safe as possible. The opening hours are 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Please feel free to drop by during the day. We do REQUIRE MASKS and will limit the number of visitors in the gallery at any one time.

Full exhibition will run through May 29

The Enchanted Mermaid
3201 E Douglas 
(316) 207-1198

First Friday Event Art Show Featuring Artist Jackie Russell

Exhibition Hours: 6pm-9pm

It’s First Friday at the Enchanted Mermaid! Stop in for a Mermaid Makeover, Henna Tattoo, Palm reading, mermaid photos, refreshments and more. 

Uniquities Home
141 N. Rock Island 
(316)-214-2301

Featured exhibition: kristie HANDMADE JEWELRY

Reception/Event Hours: 10am-8pm

Featured Artists: Kristie Eubanks

Unique, handmade jewelry by Wichita artist Kristie Eubanks

Vertigo 232
232 N Market St (Above Hewitt's Antiques) 
(316) 264-2450

Featured Exhibition: Shh... The Secret Gallery

Reception/Event Hours: 6-10pm

Featuring local, regional and national artists: Aida Bell, Amy Hermann, Barbara Haynes, Bryce McCoy, Casey TZ Smith, Christine Young, Chuck Dooms, Curtis Haynes, Dan Welty, Dani Sandoval, Danny Echo, Denise Jackson Simon, Ed Langston, Edward Faun, Greg Turner, Kathy Hunter “Loy," Lauren Fitzgerald, Mark S. Walker, Patience Biggs, Patrick Griffin, Rick Sallee, Stacy Rink, Studio Switchum andTara Hufford Walker

Gallery will be designed for Social Distancing - Mask Required

Full Exhibition runs through May 15, 10am-5pm

Wichita-Sedgwick County History Museum
204 S Main St 

Turn it up to 90! - the 90th anniversary of the electric guitar and its world debut from Wichita. The new, special exhibition will open with a public reception during First Friday. Free admission - donations appreciated. 

The electric guitar may have been born in Los Angeles, California, but it was launched from Wichita in October of 1932. The Historical Museum has received international recognition for its research and exhibits devoted to the electric guitar over the past decade.

Over the past ninety years, the Wichita-Sedgwick County area has produced a number of remarkable electric guitarists as well as a few electric guitar luminaries. This is perhaps because the genesis of this instrument is uniquely tied to Wichita. In 1932, Gage Brewer of Wichita staged the world's first performances featuring the electrically amplified guitar.

In this exhibition, we follow the fundamental development of the electric guitar starting from its invention in Los Angeles, and its public debut in Wichita. Today electric guitars are a ubiquitous mainstay of popular culture as the world's most popular musical instrument.

Reservations are recommended to guarantee admission due to capacity restrictions. Social distancing guidelines in place. 

To confirm admission call 316-265-9314 or email tours@wichitahistory.org.

William J. Reals Gallery of Art, KU School of Medicine
1010 N. Kansas 

First Friday at William J. Reals Gallery of Art

Exhibition Hours: 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Featuring "Routines" by artist Mara Howes

A Wichita native, Mara Howes is a senior at Wichita East High School. She will be attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in the fall.

Artist's statement: "How might one deliver a message if the sender has them tied up? Bound to a tree with rope tied so tight their wrists are bleeding out. The sender begs for them to deliver the message but each time, even though the messenger is complaisant, the sender will tighten the rope and add another layer of tape over the messenger's mouth. The messenger can never relay the message, the cycle continues. My work is about childhood. I treat the canvas as if the viewer is watching a movie, or rather, being forced to watch a movie. The childlike drawings respiting the confrontation of trauma in adulthood propose a deeper understanding of what is and isn't a dream. The exhibit deals with gender confusion, sexuality, childhood home, parents, emotional turmoil, lies, eating disorders and happiness. When I relive these emotions, I feel thoughtless. Overwhelmed with so much nothing that it becomes everything. Perhaps the messenger feels this, too, so overwhelmed with love for the sender that it becomes hate, guilt, confusion. This eventually turns into resentment and resentment turns into compulsory. Maybe this is why I deserve to share this feeling, it's compulsive, trauma is beautiful, it's just the reckoning that is painful. The cycle continues."

Full exhibition will run through June 30, 2021

Upcoming Event: May 7

The next First Friday event will take place on Friday, May 7, 2021. A list of participating venues will be available on this webpage one week prior to the event. Mark your calendars for the following 2021 First Friday dates to never miss an event:

  • June 4
  • July 2
  • August 6
  • September 3
  • October 1
  • November 5
  • December 3

Submit Your Event

Are you an artist or gallery owner interested in being included on the First Friday list? Contact us for more information. Since there is no designated organizing body for First Friday, all participating venues are required to do their own marketing and advertising. Downtown Wichita does provide a listing on our website of all venues that are participating for the general public and visitors to use.

Submit your First Friday exhibit info no less than one week prior to the event in the following format to be listed on the Downtown Wichita website. Fill out the form below or email your submission to megan@downtownwichita.org.

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