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Orr Street Studios is a local nonprofit studio space and gallery in Columbia.

Maddie Davis/Staff Photographer

Local photography and artworks displayed at First Fridays

Hosted in the North Village Arts District, First Fridays exhibits local artists’ work, providing a place for diversity and appreciation.

By Emmy Lucas | Sept. 12, 2017

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From photographs of scenic destinations to local artisans’ handcrafted jewelry, the block stretching from College Avenue to Ninth Street is scattered with studios displaying all forms of art.

First Fridays is a free art crawl in the North Village Arts District on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. Galleries, shops and businesses are all open to the public, offering a variety of entertainment and art as well as food and drink.

For many artists, First Fridays provides an opportunity to display their work, get local recognition and sell their pieces. For photographer Deni Cary Phillips, First Fridays allows her to share her work with others.

“There is something fulfilling in seeing people’s reactions to my photographs,” Phillips said.

By taking photos of geese in a local pond or the Big Oak Tree, Phillips captures timelessness. Phillips sees photography as a means of capturing moments that may never be seen again.

“Photography is a way of stopping time,” Phillips said. “At the moment these geese and their babies floated in front of my lens, I captured it. They may float in that pond over and over again but they will never float exactly the same way again. Photography is really just a way to stop that time and those moments.”

Phillips is inspired by photography’s ability to preserve history and enjoys sharing her passions at First Fridays.

Walking through the studios First Fridays has to offer, it is easy to indulge in each artist’s workspace and their creations. The art crawl exhibits a wide range of artists and styles and invites all kinds of people their interests, from paintings and photography to handcrafted jewelry and music.

In Orr Street Studios, artists displayed their paintings, many depicting nature and landscapes.

“I was really impressed by all of the different art forms the art crawl had to offer,” MU freshman Melanie Grupka said. “The diversity aspect was definitely there.”

There are always different themes and new artwork being displayed. Depending on the time of year, there are different activities such as children’s parades and musicians playing outside on the street.

First Fridays is a yearlong, monthly event supporting local artists at a night of art appreciation. The next First Fridays crawl will be held on Oct. 6.

Edited by Brooke Collier | bcollier@themaneater.com

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