First Friday

I have been acquainted with the concept of First Friday (or whatever day of the month a city chooses)for a long time and have visited them in other areas when traveling. First Friday in Florence does not come close to qualifying in even the spirit of the event. These are always about art and artists, galleries, music, but always with the ART and ARTIST front and center. They are not sidewalk sales where you might find office supplies, comic books or discount dresses. That is called a flea market.

Florence started out trying to center the event around artists. What happened? It's like all of the downtown shops decided that they wanted to try and make a buck as well. I would be very embarrassed to think that a tourist visiting our area would have walked down Court St last night with the idea that they were going to a "First Friday". What a disappointment.
Original Post
Well, I had never been to irst Friday until last night. I was going out to eat at Ricatoni's and happened to stumble upon it. There were two artists located in front of that area. Also we walked down to check out the music on Mobile Plaza. They were good. Don't know who they were though. Does anyone know who played there last night?
I would go again. ...No wonder no one starts a good thing around here...everyone stands back and complains waiting for failure.
That's a pretty unfair statement. People can't help it if money is tight right now. Did you bother buying anything out there last night besides your dinner? Because if you didn't, you contributed to the point of the earlier comment about artists not showing up because they can't sell anything lately and then proved my comment about people not wanting to part with money for those kinds of things. I think we'd all love to see things pick up around here and I personally would love to have money to buy some artwork. Unfortunately for me at this point in time, dinner at Ricatoni's is out of the question, much less an artwork purchase. I guess we'll just have to have our pasta here at home and be happy with the artwork from my kids school that I keep on my fridge. Wink
Did I feel pressured to buy anything last night...absolutely not. Some people will buy...not because of guilt or pressure, but because they want something. The artwork wasn't that expensive. It costs nothing to just walk on the street and enjoy the evening. The more people show up the bigger the crowd and the more people who may actually purchase something. If people show up it creates atmosphere. ...and people are attracted to things like this. It was a beautiful evening and our pleasure to have stumbled upon it.
quote:
Originally posted by mrsblueskies:
I have been acquainted with the concept of First Friday (or whatever day of the month a city chooses)for a long time and have visited them in other areas when traveling. First Friday in Florence does not come close to qualifying in even the spirit of the event. These are always about art and artists, galleries, music, but always with the ART and ARTIST front and center. They are not sidewalk sales where you might find office supplies, comic books or discount dresses. That is called a flea market.

Florence started out trying to center the event around artists. What happened? It's like all of the downtown shops decided that they wanted to try and make a buck as well. I would be very embarrassed to think that a tourist visiting our area would have walked down Court St last night with the idea that they were going to a "First Friday". What a disappointment.


As one of the artists I beg to differ with your comment. The requirements for participation for First Fridays is that all items be crafted items, not purchased, mass produced items. I've never seen office supplies or comic books or discount dresses. And the artist or maker of the items must be on hand. Now, your opinion of what constitutes art may get in the way of your view of the event. Art just isn't paint on canvas. I'll grant you, I've seen things there that I questioned myself, but these items WERE handmade in this area and the maker was behind the table. I'd also give the new committee in charge of the event a few months to get things going. I've been involved since 2006 and had just about decided to not paticipate anymore due to previous committees lack of direction, communication with the participants or adherence to the guidelines they themselves put into place. Give us another try in a month or two and and if you still find it as distasteful or not artistic enough for you, then complain to the committee. Oh, and as for the tourists, an out of state visitor just about gushed to me this past month about how impressed they were with the event.
I have to agree with the original post. I went last Friday and saw comic books and 'office supplies' (PSI had a sidewalk sale booth outside their store). I also know artists who were there in the beginning and don't participate now. I think that at one time artists had to have their art approved before they could take part in First Friday to keep a consistent 'quality control'.

And I have also visited other similar events when traveling and the ones that I have seen are different than the one here.
quote:
Originally posted by sjr56:
I have to agree with the original post. I went last Friday and saw comic books and 'office supplies' (PSI had a sidewalk sale booth outside their store). I also know artists who were there in the beginning and don't participate now. I think that at one time artists had to have their art approved before they could take part in First Friday to keep a consistent 'quality control'.

And I have also visited other similar events when traveling and the ones that I have seen are different than the one here.


PSI is a business and as such can do anything they want to in front of their store. That is taking advantage of the traffic for THEIR business. And yes, some artists have left as the previous FF commitees weren't doing their jobs or at least not doing them well. And as far as I know, the new committee will be requiring approval for any participants' art in the future for quality control.
Beady-eyed lady, the one time I went there were people (Mom, Dad, kids) selling scented pens and pencils "for the school" (ya right) as an example. Not a school name on them, not handmade, and definitely not artsy. They didn't have a booth, but were approaching people while they were waiting to cross the street.
quote:
Originally posted by luvteaching:
The band was the Ray Brothers. They are all from here locally. They have released one CD and are about to release their second. They are really good, aren't they!?!


They played at the Lady Antebellum concert last year. They were good.
One of our local potters still attends the events and for that I am grateful. He does wonderful work and always gives glory to the Lord. For him it is not so much about making money...though he does wish to do so. We SHOULD support our local artists...we are so lucky to have them.
quote:
Originally posted by forumaddict2:
Beady-eyed lady, the one time I went there were people (Mom, Dad, kids) selling scented pens and pencils "for the school" (ya right) as an example. Not a school name on them, not handmade, and definitely not artsy. They didn't have a booth, but were approaching people while they were waiting to cross the street.


If they were approaching people on the street, then they were NOT there under the unbrella of First Fridays and FF would have no control over them, their items or behavior. I suspect they mave been greedy, unscrupulous opportunists and nothing more.
i've participated in the first friday event since 2006 and have yet to talk to anyone on the committee since 2006 my email was not returned, someone else has set up in my spot multiple times since they have a new committee i will attempt contact again. It's a great concept and regardless of what anyone sells you need buyers. Most people look at your items for ideas to make themselves, i just wish they would buy mine to take home to copy (lol)

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