The next First Friday, downtown Dayton’s free monthly art hop, will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. April 1. As the weather warms, First Friday also heats up with the return of outdoor entertainment.
The popular street performers will return to First Friday (weather permitting) with roaming entertainers including breakdance crew Circle Nerdz, the comedic juggling troupe The Dropbacks and saxophonist Tyrone Martin. The street performance is supported by grant funding from the Ohio Arts Council.
Also returning to First Friday will be two historical walking tours by Gem City Circle Walks. Longtime local history buffs Leon Bey, Nancy Roach and Curt Dalton will lead an Oregon Arts District walk beginning at 5 p.m., and the “Ghosts, Cemeteries and Murders Walk of Downtown Dayton” will begin at 7 p.m. Each walk is $10 and advance reservations are required by contacting Leon Bey at 937-274-4749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another outdoor event in April will be presented by The Broken Dayton Art Machine, a group of local artists who will present a single-piece digital exhibit titled “I Have No Rival.” The artists will create a three-story video projection in the floors above The Southern Belle, 134 N. Patterson, which can be viewed from Patterson Boulevard from 8 p.m. to midnight. Artists Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Breidenbach, Frank Travers, Phillip Evans and Ren Cummings will at The Southern Belle to discuss their work.
As always, there will be plenty of action in downtown’s galleries and other establishments during First Friday, including in some nontraditional spaces. As part of the 510 Project, visitors can watch two local artists set up art installations in two spaces located right off Courthouse Square. In the former Roly Poly space (33 N. Main), Landon Crowell will install a video piece that examines the workers’ rights issues facing Ohio and Wisconsin’s public employees. In the lobby of the KeyBank Tower (10 W. Second) from noon to 6 p.m., Leesa Haapapuro will create a sculptural installation created in conjunction with her “Canal Man” project, which will feature cast human figures installed in the granite pools along Patterson Avenue. The sculptures will represent the men who labored to dig the Miami Erie Canal.
In its newest space, TEJAS, K12 Gallery for Young People, 510 E. Third St., will feature the exhibit “Dirt and Matter,” paintings by Rebecca Sargent, from 6 to 9 p.m. K12 also will display artwork by the HAALO (Helping Adolescents Achieve Learning Objectives) program of the Montgomery County Juvenile Courts and works from St. Luke School. The Cannery Art and Design Center, 434 E. Third St., will feature paintings by Clifford Darrett, whose jazz/salsa five-piece band will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. Nearby Garden Station, 509 E. Fourth St., will host live music, including Shade of Red at 8 p.m.
Open from 5 to 8 p.m., the Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St., will host a preview party to launch the countdown to its 18th Annual Art Auction, which will be held April 29 at Sinclair Community College. At 7:30 p.m., DVAC will announce the live auction line up.
The Wine Gallery, 5 W. Monument St., will host the photography of local artist Josh Mayes in his exhibit “A Taste of Spring,” which emphasizes flowers and celebrates the change in seasons.
In the Oregon Arts District, Press, an espresso bar and arts space at 257 Wayne Ave. will feature the exhibit “April Fools,” a group art show and live performance by John Gassett, Eric Dunn and Wes Tirey from 7 to 11 p.m. Elaine Balsley Fine Art, 523 E. Fifth St., will host an open house featuring a variety of contemporary art from 3 to 10 p.m. ReCreate, 438 E. Fifth St., will feature original art, instruments and other music-related items.
At the Color of Energy, 16 Brown St., gallery owner Mike Elsass will show a preview of his work that will be featured in Laguna Beach, Calif., next fall. Elsass’ second gallery, Color 2, 519 E. Fifth St., will host an exhibit of new works by Jennifer Rosengarten, Bob Rhoades, Ann Kim, Ben Norton, Amanda Baker and Darren Haper.
Gallery 510 Fine Art, 510 E. Fifth St., will show Christina Pereyma’s “Yellow Box,” an interactive artwork constructed of yellow satin. Visitors will be able to enter the enclosed space and be photographed as part of the exhibit. Gallery 510 also will introduce the wood turnings of Maryland artist Michael Batista. 5th street clayworx, 521 E. Fifth St., will highlight the “Tree of Life” sculptures by Paula Vasquez. Nancy Snyder also will offer functional pottery for the Easter holiday, as well as gifts for weddings and special occasions.
Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St., will host live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Patrons who present a receipt from another Oregon Arts District business will receive 10 percent off new CDs and LPs, as well as 15 percent off used music.
Other entertainment options abound during First Friday. For example, the monthly Courteous Mass Ride will meet at Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field, on the corner of Patterson Boulevard and Monument Avenue, at 5:15 p.m. for a ride through the city. The Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Avenue, presents The Boys Next Door at 8 p.m. and the urban arts showcase “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show” will take place at The Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., from 9 to 11 p.m.
Jay’s Seafood Restaurant, 225 E. Sixth St., will host Puzzle of Light at 9 p.m. with no cover charge. Las Americas Caribbean Cuisine, 524H E. Fifth St., will offer a special menu and musical entertainment by Armando Garcia. Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St., will host the Lab Partners at 9:30 p.m.
Click here for a complete list of events taking place downtown.
In addition, all the restaurants, retail shops, bars and clubs, theaters, The Neon, Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub, Urban Krag Climbing Center, and other establishments throughout downtown will be open during First Friday. For regular updates about this event, follow First Friday on Facebook. The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website has a complete list of downtown’s arts and cultural amenities, as well as a dining guide, parking map and much more.