by Jordan Green

On First Friday, the Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem is typically closed to vehicular traffic. The action in Greensboro centers on South Elm Street. Come prepared to spend a couple hours browsing new exhibits in any of the cities’ many galleries.

Here are a few tasty morsels from Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District:

Metamorphosis, an exhibit of photographs, sketches and paintings by Mary Bailey Thomas, shows at Studio 7.

• Stewart Knight showcases select work representing different parts of his career at Unleashed Arts Center.

• Delurk Gallery puts up a joint show of Patrick Harris’ multimedia portraits of actor Bill Murray and Aaron Kraten’s graffiti- and pop culture-inspired art.

Also in Winston-Salem, Present Tense: An Atmospheric Exploration with Some of Winston-Salem’s Rising Contemporary Artists opens at the Womble Carlyle Gallery in the Milton Rhodes Arts Center with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit explores what is similar and different about the perspectives of young artists in Winston-Salem.

Among the openings in galleries on South Elm Street in Greensboro, Mexico City native Mariana Rodriguez-Pardy showcases her pottery at Earthworks Gallery.

In other parts of downtown Greensboro, Sketch, a look inside the sketchbooks of 10 North Carolina artists, opens at the Greenhill in the Greensboro Cultural Center at 6 p.m. Participating artists include Michelle Connolly, Steven Cozart, Rebecca Fagg, Roy Nydorf, Scott Raynor, Caitie Sellers, R. Bruce Shores, Pam Toll, Michael Van Hout and Betty Watson. Meanwhile, Tyrone Terry presents two customized vehicles outside the cultural center to mark the opening of the Animated! exhibit. To top it off, because it’s First Friday, visitors will be treated to a performance by Knives of Spain.

Liberty, Equality, Sorority, an exhibit of art by Jessamyn Bailey and Katie Claiborne, opens at the Anne Rudd Galyon and Irene Cullis Galleries in the Cowan Humanities Building on the campus of Greensboro College.

Back to regular rotation: Richard Schmid provides an oil painting demo in the lobby of the Milton Rhodes Arts Center on Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The exhibit is free to members of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem and guests.

Jillian Mayer of Miami and Tom Butler of Portland, Maine — both artists in residence — co-host a salon-style talk at Elsewhere in Greensboro on Thursday from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

The Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors takes place on Saturday in the Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem.

A group show by the McConnell family goes up at the Electric Moustache Gallery (inside Krankies) in Winston- Salem on Saturday. The exhibit features photography by Jeff McConnell, paintings by Zap McConnell, sculpture by Matt McConnell and glass by Betty McConnell.

Temptation: The Forbidden Fruit, an exhibit of work by Jay M. Bruni, is on display at Uptown Artoworks in Greensboro on Sept. 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Reynolda House Museum of American Arts holds a “Family First” workshop for elementary-age children accompanied by an adult on Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro offers a free, 20-minute docent-led tour of Arlene Schechet’s That Time exhibit on Sept. 10 from noon to 12:20 p.m.

ArtQuest at Greenhill has received a grant from Target, which combined with a grant from the Junior League of Greensboro, allows the organization to create a “Traveling Trunks” program to bring art to students at Cone Elementary. The school is designated “low performing,” and 99 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch.