The Asian Arts Initiative in Callowhill is just one of a slew of arts destinations for First Friday in Philadelphia this month. (Photo by Annie Seng for Asian Arts Initiative)
On the first Friday of every month, art-loving Philadelphians pour into galleries, museums and neighborhood streets for festive art crawls, receptions and artsy nightlife events all across town.
This month, the promise of spring — and the ongoing 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show — inspires many an event and art space to break out fresh-feeling exhibitions worthy of the sunny days ahead.
From a Flower Show-themed bash at the Barnes to a landscape designer meet-and-greet in Manayunk, First Friday thrives all across town.
Remember, beyond our picks there’s tons more action on arts corridors in Fishtown, Old City and Manayunk in particular.
Our picks for March’s First Friday, below.
• First Friday! In Full Bloom at the Barnes Foundation: This week, the Barnes Foundation celebrates its collection and the annual Philadelphia Flower Show with a fresh opportunity to visit the Parkway museum, which was designed as a “gallery in a garden, a garden in a gallery.” From 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 7, crowds are invited to First Friday! In Full Bloom to see the collection, sip cocktails, take in inspirational music and hear a short talk about the Barnes’ Merion Arboretum. Tickets, $35, are available online.
When: Friday, March 7, 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: $35; free for members
• MakeFest at the Asian Arts Initiative: For more than two decades, the Asian Arts Initiative has tapped artists to explore multicultural experiences — both of Asian Americans and other communities — via multimedia arts programs, performances, youth workshops, commissions and much more. To celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the Asian Arts Initiative presents Participate, a three-part multimedia group show exhibiting two-dimensional works, performance art, video, community-based participatory art and installation. On view through May 23, there are a slew of public programs planned to engage with the community, including this week’s MakeFest. Head to the Callowhill neighborhood space to, ahem, participate in such happenings as a group shoe-shining, a latch-hook lawn craft, a coffee station, a Chinese chess game and a seed germination talk.
When: Friday, March 7, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street
• The Great Ice Cream Auction at Little Baby’s Ice Cream: Rare ice cream? Yep. This Friday, Little Baby’s Ice Cream hosts its inaugural Great Ice Cream Auction at its Fishtown headquarters on Frankford Avenue. Hit the event at 8 p.m. to bid on one-off and seasonal ice cream in various quantities that was produced over the last year in flavors like Federal Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte Donut and Black Pepper Butter Pecan.
When: Friday, March 7, 8 p.m.
Where: Little Baby’s Ice Cream World Headquarters, 2311 Frankford Avenue
• Indy Hall Presence Opening: In Old City, Indy Hall celebrates the return of spring with a series of exhibitions featuring local sculpture, literature and fashion design. This month, Indy Hall’s Spring Festival commences with Presence, an exhibition co-curated by Philadelphia Sculpture Gym’s Darla Jackson.
When: Friday, March 7, 5 p.m.
Where: Indy Hall, 22 N. 3rd Street
• Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens Shattering Expectations Opening: Opening on Friday with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m., Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ brand-new exhibition Shattering Expectations: Mosaic 2014 spotlights mosaic masterpieces by celebrated local artists in a juried exhibition. Nancie Mills Pipgras, the editor of Mosaic Art NOW and a leader in the art world, hand-picked the artists whose work will be on display at the multi-week show.
When: Friday, March 7, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street
• Bridgette Mayer Gallery Neil Anderson, Earth Songs: Architecture of the Plane Opening: For more than a decade, Bridgette Mayer Gallery has shined as a top contemporary art space in Philadelphia. This month, the gorgeous Washington Square gallery hosts a solo show of works by contemporary abstract painter, Neil Anderson. On view through April 19, the exhibition celebrates the earth in a series of works influenced by music and nature.
When: Friday, March 7, 6-8 pm
Where: Bridgette Mayer Gallery, 709 Walnut Street
• Metropolitan Gallery 250 250×250 Instagram Show Opening: Pop in to the jewel-box space affiliated with Metropolitan Bakery on Friday evening to check out the opening of the brand-new social media-inspired exhibition, 250×250. Tapping in to the array of phenomenal photography accessible via Instagram and other social media applications, this new show takes the work of five Philadelphia IG stars off the mobile screen and onto the gallery wall for a show of printed photos that originally appeared on Instagram. On Friday, meet the IGers showing in the month-long exhibit — Austin Hodges, Billy Cress, Koji Sese, Kory Zuccarelli and Rachel Hara — enjoy a glass of wine and the chance to buy unframed prints for $25 a piece (cash only).
When: Friday, March 7, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 S. 18th Street
• Art After 5: Every Friday night, art lovers can take in the superb collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a festive after-dark affair with live music, a cash bar and late hours. This Friday, vibraphonist Tony Miceli sets the mood to take in the brand new exhibition of Korean art and artifacts, Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910. Guided gallery tours are offered throughout the evening, too, and there is no additional charge for performances or guided tours after museum admission.
When: Friday, March 7, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Great Stair Hall, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Free with museum admission
• Tiny Terra Firma First Friday Wine & Design: In Manayunk, landscape and design supply outfit Tiny Terra Firma invites aspiring gardeners to come out for a First Friday soiree to enjoy wine and cheese, chat with designers about landscaping ideas, browse portfolios and just talk plants. Registration online is encouraged.
When: Friday, March 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Tiny Terra Firma, 4324 Main Street, Manayunk