Phoenix, like many other cities, holds First Fridays, primarily in the downtown arts district but also in some other areas of town. These events attract several thousand people and have a street fair atmosphere. Along with admittance to the galleries, there is music, arts and crafts booths, vendors, food trucks, and street performers. We also have Third Fridays, a slightly tamer version of First Fridays.
This 1,950 square foot mural on the side of one of the galleries, Vermillion, pays homage to First Fridays. It’s interesting in that it was painted by Joe Pagac, who I’ve written about before, as he is commissioned to paint a new mural on the side of eye lounge, another gallery, every First Friday. However, the mural is based on the work of another man, Fred Tieken, who painted this scene on a smaller scale and, when he recovered from a liver transplant, his friend, and the owner of the gallery, Dan Vermillion, wanted to celebrate him and commissioned Pagac to replicate Tieken’s painting.
The scenes depicted are experiences Tieken has had walking around on First Fridays. “First Friday’s not just about the art scene any more,” Tieken says. “It’s all these people, all these interactions — positive and negative.”
You can read more about it and see Tieken’s original painting here.
I don’t think I’ve had most of these experiences but, hey, maybe it’s time for me to go again.