Carbondale First Friday, new art herald summer |

Carbondale First Friday, new art herald summer

The vibe in Carbondale has officially switched into summer gear with the kick start of the Art aRound Town walk and June’s First Friday block party.

Main Street was lined with people and pockets of music, and businesses and art galleries flung open their doors for the event. Diners at Phat Thai and Allegria enjoyed weather in the 80s as they sat streetside on the outdoor patio.

A eight-piece jazz band from Carbondale Middle School played out of Jess Pedersen Architecture while next door hungry block partiers ate at Fatbelly Burgers.

The First Friday celebration in June is always something of an unofficial kickoff to the season, said Amy Kimberly, executive director of Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities.

“There are people all over the streets and it gives a new energy to the place,” she said.

Aspenite Lauren Sakin, a frequenter of Carbondale’s First Fridays, said the event provides a good description of Carbondale: It’s a group of people who really believe in getting out and supporting their community.

First Friday is also popular because it’s a great family event, she said.

Four simultaneous games of cornhole lined the western end of Main Street. Fioré Salon handed out balloons to the kids and was spraying colored streaks in young girls’ hair.

At one stand you could get mangos on a stick carved into the shape of blooming flowers.

In one of the art galleries, Lucy Gomez of El Jebel said she saw an artist doing live painting. Gomez was drawn to come back out to First Friday by the great musical talent and festive crowd.

At the same time Marble Distilling was celebrating its one-year anniversary, and the Carbondale Clay Center was hosting an opening in tandem. The distillery and Clay Center teamed up for an open container area on the west end of Main Street with food trucks and live music.

Angela Bruno, executive director of the Clay Center, said the gallery is taking advantage of each First Friday celebration this summer to feature new work.

“It’s also great to see all the new art featured around town. For the art community, June sets the tone for the rest of the summer,” said Bruno.

CCAH hosted an opening, featuring its new sculpture garden. The Betty Janes Schuss Memorial Garden has edible plants and works by local sculptors.

And the day before, the Carbondale Public Arts Commission held its annual Art aRound Town art walk, which featured 14 new sculptures in the town’s rotating public arts installations.

Gwen Garcelon, from Carbondale, said First Friday is a great opportunity to draw more people into town to show off Carbondale’s varied forms of creativity ­ be it in art galleries, musical performances, food and many other creative outlets.

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