By ELIZABETH DEVINE
On the first Friday of every month, the streets of downtown Fredericksburg bustle with art lovers of all ages. Eleven unique art galleries display new exhibits from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday evenings. Visitors can take advantage of free parking in multiple locations or ride the trolley from gallery to gallery for free.
First Friday is an event that is cherished by many members of the Fredericksburg community. May Shorten Townley, an artist at the Artful Dimensions, believes that First Friday is beneficial to the community.
“[It] exposes art to those who may not do it regularly,” Townley said. Local artists at every gallery are eager to talk to the public about their current projects and share about what’s happening in the Fredericksburg art community.
The galleries display a wide variety of art, including elegant sculptures, textiles, abstract paintings and detailed drawings of places around Fredericksburg. Many people involved with First Friday think that it is important that college students see the galleries, because it gives them an opportunity to talk to local artists and to experience Fredericksburg’s art scene.
This is a great event to go to with a group of friends after a week of stressful classes. Students can relax and enjoy the wide variety of art and free food at every gallery. Michelle Lowe, a freshman at UMW, loves going to First Friday.
“I feel more a part of the community,” says Lowe. Even for students that might not have a previous knowledge or appreciation for art, it is an excellent opportunity to get off campus and into the Fredericksburg community.