Arts Council of the Valley announces First Fridays Downtown events

Arts Council of the ValleyThe Arts Council of the Valley First Fridays Downtown program features in-person opening receptions Oct. 1 at several locations.

An online interactive map provides information on each venue ( Plus, attendees are invited to start their arts evening from 5 to 6 p.m. on the Duke Lawn with The Grand Illumination at James Madison University, before a walk (led by ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden) to Smith House Galleries as a starting point for visiting other First Fridays Downtown venues.

Sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts, The Grand Illumination celebrates new sculptures by Michio Ihara (“Untitled” in the Duke Hall Sculpture Garden) and Edwin Baruch (“Light Pavilion” on the Duke Lawn). The free event includes refreshments, speakers, and a dance choreographed by CVPA Dean Rubén Graciani in memory of Earlynn J. Miller.

While waiting for the reception, enjoy the new exhibit, Timbre, in The little Gallery Underground (JMU Music Library, 880 S. Main St.,, opening at 4 p.m. See canvas prints of the Marching Royal Dukes before heading outside for a 4:30 p.m. performance by the band.

You’ll also want to explore these other visual and performing arts experiences during First Fridays Downtown:

  • Arts Incarnate (292 N. Liberty St.) hosts an evening of art and music Oct. 1. Rose Anderson and her drawing and painting works at a meet-the-artist wine and cheese reception from 4 to 7 p.m., followed by a live concert by Caleb Stine from 7:30 to 9. Details at, and
  • The Gaines Group Architects/CW Depot (141 W. Bruce St., Suite 201) welcomes you to an opening reception First Friday at The Depot Oct. 1, 5 to 8 p.m. October’s exhibition features mixed media works by Sara Harper. Masks required, vaccinations encouraged. Info:
  • Horizon Gifts (111 N. Liberty St.) hosts an opening reception Oct. 1, 5-8 p.m. featuring paintings by Brittany Dyer. Info:
  • OASIS Fine Art & Craft (103 S. Main St.) invites you to an opening reception for Faces of Felt, Oct. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. Meet artist Edda Duff, and learn details about her felt work. Info:
  • Park Gables Gallery at VMRC hosts The Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society 35th Annual Members’ Show; online only (unless/until COVID numbers improve). Info:
  • Smith House Galleries (311 S. Main St.) announces an in-person reception (5-8 p.m. Oct. 1) for two exhibitions opening in October: New Works in Metal: Sculptures by Michael Hough, and Headbones: Paintings by Lydia Hough. Visit in-person Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Info:
  • Ten Thousand Villages (181 S Main St) launches an exhibition of pottery by Rachel Holderman, with an Oct. 1 reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Info:
  • The Virginia Quilt Museum (301 S. Main St.) offers extended hours and free admission Oct. 1 from 4-7 p.m. Featured exhibitions are “Hometown Girl: Appliqued Quilts of Mimi Dietrich” and “Botanical 3D Quilts by Andrea Finch.” Info:
  • Wilson Downtown Gallery (83 S Main St) opens two exhibitions Oct. 1 with a 5-8 p.m. reception. Meet the artists and see Inspired by Nature (abstract paintings by Bob Bersson) and Expressions in Clay (ceramic art by Bobbie Greer). Info:

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