Mellow Mushroom welcome part of First Friday arts

by Jim Dowell

Mellow Mushroom welcome part of First Friday arts

Well folks, it is hard to believe, but 2008 is outta here! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season so far, and that everything you wished for came true. It seems to me that the years just whiz by us as we get older, and we don’t realize it till it’s too late. 2008 was not a particularly good year for the local arts scene. Just about every artist and gallery I spoke with reported that sales were down. But, hopefully, we will experience some rebounding in ’09. I am happy to say that First Fridays seem to be having a comeback of sorts in Greensboro, and interest is renewed. A lot of it is due to the fact that most galleries are now located in the downtown area, and charge no admission. In economic downtimes, anything free is indeed a good thing. The Mellow Mushroom has now opened on Elm Street. I know Artmongerz is thrilled to have such a great new neighbor! Open for lunch and dinner, they should be a very welcome addition to the revitalized downtown community. Artmongerz will be open for First Friday with over a dozen in-house working artists in their personal studios. Mellow Mushroom is located in the space formerly occupied by 2 Art Chicks. Lyndon Street Artworks presents fiber artist Deborah Bartz. Demonstrating spinning, weaving, and looming techniques, she will be featured on the main stage. Metals artist and jewelry designer Brittany Sondberg is located upstairs at Lyndon Street Artworks. She creates custom flatware and home decor using enamels,wood, stones and “responsibly sourced” precious metals. Her jewelry and wall pieces in enamel are displayed in the lower gallery. Charlotte and Erik Str’m are also extending their holiday sale throughout the month of January. Paintings, prints, and original drawings are reduced from 25 to 50 percent. Lyndon Street Artworks is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. With 40 plus painters, fibermakers, sculptors, potters, metalsmiths and other creative beings, they offer over 20,000 square feet of working artists in their own spaces.

The following businesses will also be open for First Friday on Jan. 2, till 9 p.m.:

Gate City Yarns features pasture paintings of Karine Thoreson, and metal sculpture by Art in the Aroboretum favorite Lawrence Feir. The store staff will be engaged in spinning, knitting, and crochet demonstrations all evening. • Mack and Mack will host a music jam. Bring your own instrument or tickle their ivories on the baby grand in store. Enjoy participating or listening to the casual jam session in this fashion design showroom. • Rhyne’s Corner Cupboard celebrates 37 years of business offering antiques and collectibles in a unique setting.

Simple Kneads Bakery offers European handmade speciaties including danishes, streudels, turnovers, pies and tarts, along with hot cider and cookies. Additional venues might also stay open to offer their post-holiday sales and promotions. Regretfully, Winter Lyght Gallery will not be participating in First Friday for January. They are still having the Small Works For The Small Purse show already in progress. Not too much to report for this First Friday of ’09, but the rest of the year looks to heat up quickly. Please support all our arts venues and merchants, and keep the resurgence of downtown going strong.