Uptown Greenville will be hosting their monthly art walk this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., where community members are invited to come out and tour the Uptown district and explore art exhibits, free opening receptions and food.
The art walk, which happens on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m., features art from galleries such as Emerge, The Art Lab, Gray Gallery, Greenville Museum of Art and more, according to the event’s Facebook page.
Participants in the tour will additionally have the opportunity to stop in and enjoy food and drinks at any of Uptown Greenville’s 35 restaurants, as well as explore and shop in multiple local shops, according to Meredith Hawke, events and branding director for Uptown Greenville.
“First Friday (art walk) highlights the culture in Uptown Greenville. It's an opportunity for galleries to throw open their doors with receptions to welcome the community into their spaces,” Hawke said.
According to Hawke, the art walk series kicked off in 2002, and it usually hosts around 500 attendees per night. The self-guided tour features local artists and travelling artists at each of the different participating galleries, Hawke said.
Hawke said the art walk is a “wonderful opportunity” to see talent of Eastern North Carolina, as well as the art, food and music all contribute to the success of the series in the Uptown district.
“With gallery receptions, a self-guided tour, delicious cuisine and live music, First Friday is truly a wonderful night to be Uptown,” Hawke said.
According to Hawke, each participating gallery will release information on the artists and the artwork being featured the week of the art walk.
One of the galleries participating in Friday’s art walk is the Greenville Museum of Art, according to Trista Reis Porter, interim executive director of the museum. Porter said the gallery will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday for the art walk in July.
“The Greenville Museum of Art has works from the permanent collection on display (artwork by Francis Speight, Sarah Blakeslee, Kenneth Noland, Annie Hooper, Burk Uzzle, among others). We also have a new exhibition called “Greenville, Then and Now,” which will be on display for the July First Friday,” Porter said.
The museum will have historic photographs and artifacts on display in one gallery for Friday’s art walk, as well as works by contemporary local artists in another gallery, Porter said.
Jason Coale, the Executive Director at Whirligig Stage, one of the participating galleries and retailers, said he is a supporter of the Uptown district’s art walk series and usually participates in it.
“We are huge supporters of the Uptown Greenville First Friday Artwalk. It is a great way for the community to come together to support and interact with the artists of our region. There is a wealth of events, exhibitions and pop ups every month as well as activities to get involved with,” Coale said.
According to Coale, Whirligig hosted Hannah Wiser with Pirate Paintings last month, where she taught pen and watercolor techniques to participants. The stage will finish the art walk nights with their First Friday Jazz series.
Coale said at this Friday’s art walk, he and his team from Whirligig plan to work on a mural on a wall across from Dickinson Avenue Public House and next to the Farmers and Makers Market. Art walk participants are invited to grab a brush and join the group.
Kat Jones, an artist and five-year resident of Greenville, said she has been a featured artist in the art walk series at Schroko's Hair Studio, one of the participating retailers, and will be a participant in July’s art walk.
“I attend most (First Friday) Art Walks at Schroko's Hair Studio as I've been one of their featured artists for the last few months. My absolute favorite part of the Art Walk is meeting such amazing people. My network has expanded exponentially and I'm so thankful,” Jones said.
Jones said she is not a featured artist in this upcoming art walk, but she is looking forward to attending the event. She plans on attending with her husband and two children and is looking forward to checking out the other artists around the area as well as the shops.
Jones said Greenville residents should come out and attend the art walk to enjoy what the community has to offer. She said it’s a great opportunity to grab a bite to eat, see artwork by various artists and meet fellow residents.
“I'll be attending because it's fun. Even if you aren't checking out all the amazing art, a lot of the stores are open late and the sense of community is such a breath of fresh air,” Jones said.
For more information on the First Friday Art Walk series and this Friday’s art walk, check out the series’ Facebook page, or call 252-561-8400.