This is one of the past exhibitions in ahha’s “The Experience”. photo by Margaret Laprarie

First Friday Art Crawls alive amidst ongoing pandemic

A popular opportunity for exploring all that Tulsa’s Arts District has to offer, the First Friday Art Crawl has found itself adapting to the procedures of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic rather effectively, as businesses and artists alike have come together to keep the tradition going. Since 2007, every first Friday of the month in Tulsa’s Arts District (formally known as the Brady Arts District) has been the perfect spot for residents of and visitors to Tulsa alike to come down and explore all that the district has to offer.

Art galleries and organizations such as 108 Contemporary and ahha are often open later than usual, restaurants are open and bustling with First Friday-only opportunities and local artists set up shop on and around Guthrie Green, sharing their talents through artwork for sale or free performances. First Friday typically takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., but these hours are often extended based on each individual business and what their usual Friday night schedule is.

When the pandemic hit, First Friday was put on pause for several months. Finally making its comeback in Sept. 2020, there were a few notable differences. Social distancing guidelines and mask wearing policies have been implemented at all participating businesses within the Arts District, including timed ticketed entry for smaller spaces and art galleries, such as ahha. The consistency of certain events has also changed, as artists who set up to sell art vary from week to week and so do performances taking place on and around Guthrie Green.

Information on what exactly will be going on during an upcoming First Friday can be found on the Facebook pages for both the Tulsa Arts District and Downtown Tulsa, as well as those for any participating businesses and organizations.
The next First Friday will be taking place this Friday, March 5. If you are interested in exploring some local art, you can look forward to an exhibition of work from Jonathan Hills on view at 108 Contemporary, where admission is free and does not require booking in advance. At ahha’s Hardesty Center, you can explore their first and third floor art galleries, The Experience and The Studio for a discounted admission price of $10, available only on First Fridays.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, there are a number of great spots in the area, including Lone Wolf, Chimera Cafe, The Tavern and Yokozuna. From 5 to 10 p.m., Antoinette’s bakery will be hosting their weekly Pie Night, where you can stop by for one of their enormous slices of mouth-watering pie, flavors including Mile High Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Banana, Macaron Funfetti Cheesecake and even options that are gluten-free and vegan! Glacier Confection will be launching a new box of chocolates designed by Sara Bost Fisher, available starting on Friday at their location in the Arts District. If you’re looking for even more to do, a variety of shops are available to explore, including Magic City Books, Ida Red, Made and more!

No matter what you might be interested in, the First Friday Art Crawl has something for everyone, and it is a great way to get out and explore what the community outside of TU has to offer. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Tulsa Arts District has found a way to keep up this tradition while keeping the residents and visitors of Tulsa safe, and as a result, art is very much still alive and well in the 918.

Many booths and tables around Guthrie Green have art for sale during the art crawl. photo by Margaret Laprarie tucollegian | Collegian

Post Author: Margaret Laprarie