It really always surprises me just how many people show up to the colder First Fridays. At least, it seems like there are always big crowds when it’s freezing. On the other hand, we might all just be hanging out in the same areas to try to stay warm.
There was only one place to hang out to stay warm this (pseudo-)First Friday. The theme might’ve been “Fire and Ice,” but most of us were content to hang around the fire. There were a couple that dared to dance with it, though.
The Jackson majorettes spun flaming batons for a quick show before running back to coats for warmth. Definitely pretty cool, though I wish my camera had behaved a little better to capture a few of these shots.
Some Canton South students also had the chance to show off some art that wasn’t as volatile.
I’m a big fan of that swan in the center; I also liked a dolphin over by 2nd April Gallery (that I mistook from across the street to be a bear; sorry!).
Beyond the art in that gallery, Anderson Creative was doing a really neat show called Blind Date, in which writers and artists paired words and images for an overall effect. I really want to take the time to read some of the work if I get the chance before it comes down.
My favorite work of the night was an ice chimney that brought the elements together in a strange blaze. I’m still not exactly sure how it works, but it was amazing.
I didn’t actually make it out to First Friday this month, but I hear it was a good time. I’d be a little iffy on the family-friendlyness of the “Oktoberfest” chapter of the monthly event, but there was apparently plenty of focus on the food and fun parts of the harvest season.
The Kresege lot was the scene for people focused on pumpkins, where there was painting and a seed-spitting contest, put on by the Canton Jaycees.
I’ve noticed a growing trend of musicians on just about every street during the events this year - I can’t believe this many musicians got out to different venues for shows this month. The site lists 25 performers and groups, all spread out over downtown Canton. For my own taste, I’m a bigger fan of the visual art, but I’m glad that so many people are getting something out of First Friday that it’s growing like that. I hope the November harvest moon brings out even more!
Geez, is it September already? And already the end of it, I guess. I have no idea how it got so late in the year so quickly, but I think I’ll be okay with it (if for no other reason than all the great comfort food that comes with colder weather).
First Friday this month was all about “the color of music.” There have been academic battles back and forth in the art world about tying music and visual art, but the evening focused more on sounds parading through the streets. Musicians covered almost every street in the festival with lots of different musical tastes. I would have the names of some of the musicians, but there were actually crowds around almost all of them.
The closest I got to really being involved with the music was up on 4th Street, where the drum circle that I had taken some photos of a couple months ago was keeping a heavy beat. The circle leader got the crowds around involved even if we didn’t have instruments by clapping our hands and shouting along. I’m not great with rhythm, but playing along with a group was a ton of fun.
I, for one, was pretty glad that the Hound Dog Days of Summer wasn’t as accurate for the weather at First Friday this month. In fact, it was a pretty mild evening, and the weather made it perfect to get out and enjoy the galleries. The size of the event has only grown over the summer - I saw at least two live bands playing and I’m sure there were a couple more around. There were some residual hula hoops and chalk drawings, but it seemed like a lot of people found their own ways to break down.
I was expecting to see a lot more dogs around, given the theme, but I was only greeted by a couple small pups. Those dogs seemed to get a lot of love from kids and others alike. I barely got a clean photo of any of them, but this little guy was giving out puppy eyes for free in front of Anderson Creative Studio.
Arts in Stark spun the theme a bit so that the goal of the evening was to capture as many shots of Elvis as possible. I only saw one or two images floating around (though there were a few guys out that I could’ve sworn were impersonators), but I couldn’t pass up a shot of some nice chalk art on the corner.
After spending some time out in the galleries, I finished up the night out at Muggswigz with some friends. Pretty good for a cool summer evening.
First Friday July had a lot to live up to for Independence Day weekend. There were enough people crowding the streets when I got there to have our own parade, though most were wandering around and staring down.
This month’s theme was Chalk the Walk, with more than a dozen works of chalk art up and down 4th Street by local artists. Moreover, there was space designated for kids (and big kids) to do some doodling of their own with huge pieces of chalk. It was hard to feel uninspired when huge dragons and mermaids traveled the ground under your feet. I wasn’t exactly artistic, but I couldn’t help scrawling this blog’s address on the road. So, if you’re visiting because you saw my doodle, HI! (and do you always visit Web addresses that you find on the street?)
This big guy by Jeffrey Keirn was my favorite, even if I couldn’t get a good shot of him. The flashing lights from the Ryan Humbert concert being held about 20 feet from here messed with my camera.
There was plenty to do outside the concert, as well. I think the outdoor food stands have become a staple during the summer months, and I saw something else that I never believed I’d come across: a cornhole set featuring the logo and colors of Iris. I sort of wish I had taken a picture of that, now.
So I was pretty impressed a few weeks ago when I went to Zing in the City and could not physically move from my spot because of the huge crowd. I thought that downtown Canton couldn’t draw in any more people than that.
I was wrong.
June’s First Friday was a sea of people almost everywhere I looked. I was running a little late, but it seemed that families were taking advantage of the summer evening to have some fun playing with jump ropes and hula hoops. I would’ve joined in, but as any of my friends will tell you, I have no rhythm.
I wandered over to the grand opening of the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography (why do these places not have actual sites?) and was pretty astonished at the huge range of famous shots paired with snaps from local photographers. The gallery itself is a large, clean white and tan space with the air of a museum. It brings a different kind of class to the already-stylish arts district. I hope to see that place do some growing.
I also stopped by Anderson Creative Gallery and Studio to see some very cool work from the Canton Montessori School Student SmArts show. Thanks to an Arts in Stark grant, these kids got to put together some very impressive pieces. I really enjoyed the constellations and the pipe cleaner creations.
Great work, guys.
Did I also mention that I stopped at Sheri’s Sweets again? Well, I did. Sugar cookies have had something like an unholy grasp on me lately.
In the middle of the day, you can just eat your lunch and grab a book, or chat with co-workers or if you happen to be anywhere near downtown Canton on any Wednesday for the next two months, you can actually catch a concert.
I dropped by the Canton Cultural Center mid-week to see Ryan Humbert kick off this year’s J-Jams, sponsored by Arts in Stark. A decent crowd was gathered inside the big courtyard area with the Pegasus looking on during the first of the lunch-hour concerts. There’s a whole schedule of local artists taking the stage to help downtown workers get through the middle of the week, and if you don’t feel like packing lunch you can also bring a few dollars to eat some catered Chik-fil-A.
The event was a pretty cool gathering of local people who just want to meet with some others for lunch. I grabbed a seat at a table full of Nationwide workers from down the street, and ended up having a good time chatting with Doug Stuck, who is also going to be playing next month (that’s as good of a plug as I think I’m going to get for you, Doug).
Humbert is a pretty cool guy, too. He grew up in Green and is living in Jackson right now, but he did a year-long stint in Nashville to finish a new album. His music sort of fits in with Americana pop with some rock and even some dance beats thrown in. Some of the tracks on his new album “Old Souls, New Shoes” have a definite groove to them that I was not expecting to hear. Some fun stuff.
He’s going to be showing around northeast Ohio for a while before starting work on new stuff, so you might check the ‘shows’ tab on his site to see when you can catch him. Personally, the Everly Brothers show in Akron on Saturday sounds like a lot of fun to me.
Also, be sure to check the Arts in Stark site to check out all the local bands that are going to be showing on Wednesday through the next two months!
It is so great to listen to the rain right now - I know it’s only making things chilly and wet, but it’s so relaxing and at least different from the weather of the last few weeks. My backyard is sort of grey and mushy but so green and moderately alive for the first time in months.
The beautiful weather was just one more reason to head up to First Friday this weekend.
After a really delicious (but expensive!) dinner at Iris, we headed up toward some of the smaller art galleries first, just to see what new things were happening. I did notice a few new artists and displays, including one artist who made small serving trays out of melted wine and soft drink bottles. It’s a really cool idea that makes me sort of wish that I had a reason to need one of those. Also, I came across this installation, which looks to be a collaboration piece for next year.
There are also fewer small cats in kimonos, which I’m sort of okay with at this point.
I visited the Palace Theatre to check out the fifth annual St. Pet’s Day, put on by The Celtic Club of Ohio (also one of the cooler people I know, Jim Collver). I know it’s a little early to be wearing green, but these people are always ready to celebrate and collect dry cat and dog food for local shelters. I got there just in time to see The Mickeys finishing up. Even early in the evening, there was a pretty respectable pile of pet food by the front doors. I’m not Irish at all, but I’ve been to this event almost every year since it’s been going, and it’s always been a lot of fun. I mean, where else are you going to meet up with people who care this much about animals and at the same place find kids who can do jigs?
See? I don’t kid around about these things. Sorry about the couple lines of links, but I promised I would post some references to the groups that were there for the benefit: Alliance for Animals, Friends of Stark Pound, Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue, Inc., Second Chance for Animals, Inc. and Stark County Humane Society. Bravo also to Emily Busta, who raised a ton of pet food in place of a 13th birthday party this year.
After the show, I checked out the gallery at the Progressive Urban Real Estate office up the street. I really love the idea of mixing a workspace with an open art gallery, and I hope it works out for owner Mike Boylan and the Malone students whose art is on the walls.
Oh, and don’t forget to move your clocks forward an hour today even though it sucks to lose even an hour of this relaxed weather.
Due to some dinner-making mishaps, I missed the majority of the Midori Japanese-inspired fashion show at the Massillon Museum yesterday. In fact, I made it just in time to watch them tear down. On the other hand, I did still get to hang out in a huge crowd that stuck around for the reception after. At last count, I heard that about 235 people attended - and that’s a lot of people to fit in that front reception area!
Not all was lost, though. I did get to see some of the kimono painted by local school kids. I wish these images were bigger, but you can still get to see some of the really creative things these kids did. Very cool stuff, and it’s great to see them getting involved in museum activities. Here’s one of my favorites:
Slightly related, I hung out at Kozmo’s down the street from the museum for a little bit after the reception and I once again almost ran into Robb Hankins of Arts in Stark. I’m starting to wonder, who’s stalking whom?
It’s finally here. The Kimono as Art exhibit has finally opened to the public. I’ve already seen it, but I actually wanted to wait until I’d gone through the exhibit a second time before talking about it here.
The exhibit showcases 40 oversized kimonos created by artist Itchiku Kubota, a master of the silk fabric-dyeing process called Tsujigahana. Using this tye-dye technique, he’s created works that tell stories and reveal amazing landscapes. I don’t want to try to narrow down his expressions by trying to classify them, but he shows off textile work that uses subtle light and vivid color in a way that I’m not sure I’ve really seen outside of impressionist work. I couldn’t get any photos inside the exhibit, but I want to show off one or two from the website.
This is Ohn, which shows the kind of versatility and technique Kubota employs in his art. He uses intricate colors and shapes to pour his heart into these landscapes and give them just an incredible amount of emotion.
The biggest part of the exhibit is his “Symphony of Light,” a 75-kimono collection building a landscape that not only represents the earth, but the passage of time and seasons and ultimately the universe. In the exhibit, the 30 kimonos shown are in a continuous landscape, each opening into the next in different aspects of the seasons of autumn and winter. The use of light really impresses as he chooses a moment in day or twilight through the progress of the year. I wish I could find a few images to show, but they really wouldn’t show off how detailed these kimonos really are.
Either way, this show is something that needs to be seen if you have the chance. Check it out at the Canton Museum of Art, and don’t forget to visit the weekend celebrations that Arts in Stark put on all throughout the exhibit’s stay.
What’s that? You don’t have $10 to spend on the show? Well, then show up to the museum on the third Tuesday of every month, when the Canton Museum of Art is free to anyone coming in. There. Now there are no excuses left.