In Ireland, Friday night revelers traipse from bar to bar sampling drinks in what’s known as a “pub crawl.”
But on the second Friday of every month in Davis, you can go on an art crawl, thanks to a Davis tradition called the 2nd Friday ArtAbout. This month’s ArtAbout will be held on Friday evening and includes 21 venues for participants to visit as well as free receptions and art to enjoy.
Melanie Glover, Davis Downtown Business Association’s ArtAbout coordinator, said at first only art galleries participated in ArtAbouts, but now other downtown businesses get in on the fun, too.
“It started out with just galleries having their opening receptions at the same time,” Glover said. “But now, businesses are part of it as well. There’s a lot going on.”
This Friday’s festivities include recycled art by Oliver Eddy, live music by Tyler Vincent and Mike Starchild at the Yolo SPCA Thrift store on Third Street and pastels by Kathryn Esterly at the Avid Reader bookstore on Second Street. Salons, restaurants and all art galleries will also have new works on display.
Glover said she recommends that ArtAbout participants begin their night outside of downtown, such as at the Davis Art Center, and then work their way through the downtown galleries and businesses that catch their eye. A schedule of events is available on the Davis Downtown Association’s website.
In addition to admiring the artwork, visitors may enjoy free receptions with food and drinks and mingle with the artists themselves.
“It’s a neat opportunity to meet the artists and hear them talk about their work,” Glover said.
Pence Gallery director Natalie Nelson said the Pence will display its latest traveling exhibit, “12 Voices,” on Friday.
“12 Voices” is a display of artistic quilts created by 12 different women that incorporate art, painting, photography and even poetry.
“These quilts aren’t meant for your bed,” Nelson said. “They’re challenging and neat to look at. Everybody can relate to quilts because people have them in their own families.”
Some of the artists will be at the gallery on Friday. There will be a free reception, including wine tasting, from 6 to 9 p.m., that is open to all.
Nelson said ArtAbouts are a valuable opportunity to show the public what the Pence Gallery is all about.
“We’re always trying to reach out to a new audience,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to explore the community.”
The Artery, an artist cooperative that hosts changing exhibits by its members, will display ceramics and photography by Tom Post. Sara Wost, assistant manager at The Artery, said Post’s collage-style photography is fascinating to look at.
“It combines elements of other images to see how they relate to each other in other contexts,” Wost said. “Surprises evolve as new and unforeseen images develop. It’s really cool.”
Wost said that even though downtown Davis is composed largely of restaurants, ArtAbouts are a way to get the whole community involved in art.
“Artists come for their fellow artists. It’s usually really well attended,” she said. “It’s pretty festive. It’s quite a downtown event.”
ROBIN MIGDOL can be reached at email@example.com.