With so many talented artists and musicians in Anchorage, it can be hard at times to be able to get one’s art or music shown, which is exactly why First Friday exists. Essentially, this event occurs on the first Friday of every month in participating local businesses across Anchorage. Each business features an artist and their work, then holds a showcase on that Friday, often with local musicians playing. The art stays hung up to show in the business all month, promoting the artist and also drawing people into the local business.
A huge participant in First Friday is the Anchorage Museum. Think of the museum as the center of events, or the hub for the month. The museum will be holding events all month, beginning on the first Friday of October.
“We will be featuring something called Elevator Music, with live music from the Nuther Brothers. People can get on the museum’s over-sized elevator to hear their songs, its a really cool idea,” Krystal Meyer, the event coordinator for the Anchorage Museum said.
Besides Elevator Music, the museum will feature multiple other events on Oct. 7, such as the Battle of the Breweries. Local brewery companies will feature their favorite and most unique beers in the form of flights for people to try and vote on their favorite. The Anchorage Museum will be featuring local artists for the entire month of October, but these special events will only be happening on the First Friday.
Sevigny Studio, a local business that sells Alaska made artwork, clothing and jewelry, will be featuring local artist Gina Edwards and musician Jonathan Cannamore.
“Gina has been featured in our studio before. She does oil paintings, and uses charcoal and wire in some of her stuff. They are very whimsical images,” Jessica Stesfl, First Friday coordinator for Sevigny Studio said.
Cannonmore writes his own songs and sings covers using a loop pedal. His music is folk rock, and he will be performing at Sevigny Studio exclusively on Friday, Oct. 7.
The people who come through these businesses and support the artists are just as important as the artists themselves. Without any supporters, First Friday would not exist in Anchorage, so it is important for the participators to get feedback from the people of Anchorage on what can be done better for the following month.
“The first time I attended First Friday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It seemed like a cool idea so I went, and now I make sure to go to at least one business every month to see who they’re featuring. First Friday is a great way to see what the people of Anchorage do and the talent they have,” Anchorage resident Sarah Richards said.
These business are just a small taste of what will be going on during First Friday. Businesses such as Octopus Ink, Anchorage Community Works, Fat Ptarmigan, Heart of the City and IGCA Alaska are other major participants on First Friday. The art, music and food that is featured all across Anchorage is nothing short of original and allows participants to experience the art scene in the city, while also supporting all of the local businesses in downtown Anchorage.