First Friday last night was one of the better ones in months, I'm going to imagine in large part due to the fact that it was neither a.) raining or b.) miserably cold. If you are from the Pacific Northwest, Chicago or anywhere north of the 45th you can mock me mercilessly for my pathetic inability to withstand weather.
To be fair though, 4 club members, myself included, stood outside of Ghostprint at December First Friday to sell prints, cards, jewelry and other illustrated gifts for the holiday. This year was the first time (since I've been a member) that the club had done something like that, and while we could have sold more it was a good experience and one I think we'd really like to repeat. Holly's greeting cards sold the best, and she's since had them sold through both Quirk gallery and Mongrel in Carytown, as well as at the holiday Bizarre Market above Chop Suey Tuey and on Etsy.com.
I totally agree with what Dwayne said the other night, that he wishes Richmond would feel like a real city more than just once a month on Friday. It really is just about the only time when there is volumous foot traffic all over town, businesses stay open later and Broad Street doesn't look abandoned. It is nice in some respect that it's art that makes this town feel like a city. In an economy where any sort of luxury item is regarded with sudden scorn, it's refreshing to see that original art, which has always seemed to me to be viewed as a luxury, is bringing people out - and some of them are even buying it. A few of the skatebirds by Klutch at Ghostprint sold last night, and they were amazingly cool. They were also really reasonably priced, and it struck me as a real win-win situation.
The other particularly awesome thing last night was when numerous patrons at Quirk picked up and shook Thea's handmade snowless snowglobes, only to get really disappointed and frustrated to discover that there wasn't any snow in them.
Edit - I am totally remiss in not mentioning this earlier - I'll claim a dog emergency that pulled me away from the computer before I could add it and beg forgiveness.
Last but clearly not least, another fabulous opening on April's First Friday was our members show! We have done this show at the library for god knows how long - it had been going on for a while when I joined the club in 04, and at this point we have a standing show in the Gellman room of the main public library on Franklin St. every April. Somehow this show seems to come out of thin air every year. There is a great group of people showing work this year - Forrest Young, Andy Parrish, Jolinda Smithson, Eric Collins, Tin Salamunic, Dwayne Carpenter and Katie McBride (me!). This show is a great perk of club membership (plug plug) b/c it is so low key, and you can show anything. If you have some experimental pieces and you want to get them out there and get a reaction? Great. Got some traditional figurative work you've done at Ghostprint's drawing night? That works too. Plus Lynn Vandeness at the Library is incredibly sweet and so enthusiastic, so that helps too. I definitely encourage everyone to go down and check out the show. It's a great range of work, from high intensity graphic Transformers (seriously), to meticulous line drawings of Richmond, to expressive ink and mixed media portraits.
Anyway, as usual, here's a plug to enter the Juried Show - deadline April 24 - and as always, check back here and our facebook page for updates on all sorts of Richmond Illustration things.