February’s First Friday event features a slew of new galleries and the ever-popular Pie Night at Antoinette’s bakery.
First Friday is a uniquely-Tulsan event with a little bit for everyone. It encompasses the Tulsa Arts District and offers everything from art and music to street performers and pie night.
I always like to begin First Friday at the art museums. Tulsa is lovely in that the city opens the art museums in the Tulsa Art District with free admission for the First Friday of every month, and there are quite a few art museums to choose from.
108 Contemporary, which showcases modern art and features local artists, had an exhibit featuring the artwork of Patrick Doughtery this February First Friday. His gallery consisted of photographs of sculptures he had made with trees to show the effects of civilization on nature. In addition to Doughtery’s exhibit, there was a quilt installation showcased with huge quilt squares hung from the ceiling, almost touching the floor, providing large mosaics of color. These exhibits will only be featured until February 26, and patrons can see different exhibits next First Friday.
At the Philbrook, which has a different set of artworks each First Friday, there was a piece of particularly thought-provoking art on gender and racial stereotypes. The artist recorded an African-American basketball player in a Lakers Jersey shooting hoops while wearing a large hoop skirt. In addition to this piece, Philbrook showcased other installations that challenged cultural norms.
While the other art museums are mainly a viewing experience, the Hardesty Arts Center included an area where visitors can actually create art. On this First Friday, there were three art stations, including post-it note art and shaving cream art. I chose to create a work on a post-it note, now proudly displayed on the designated wall at Hardesty Arts.
Outside the art museums were a variety of street performers and people handing out flyers for upcoming events. The TU theatre department performed a scene on the street corner, advertising their upcoming performance of “1984.” There was also a juggler on a corner wearing a TU sweatshirt with a sign at his feet reading, “$2 gets me 1% off my textbooks,” a plight to which every TU student can relate.
After admiring the art museums, no First Friday is complete without partaking in Pie Night at Antoinette’s bakery, which stays open until 10:30 p.m. for the event. To end a good First Friday at Antoinette’s, one must arrive early to get pie before they sell out. With pie in hand, one must then hope to be lucky enough to score one of the few tables to enjoy it with friends. That’s what First Friday is to me: first art, then pie with friends.
When First Friday comes around, grab a friend and find out what the Arts District can be for you. The next First Friday Art Crawl is March 2, 6 – 9 p.m.