“First Friday started about two-and-a-half years ago,” said
Rich Richardson, assistant director at The ARTS at Marks Garage.
It was based on a similar community art program in Portland,
OR., Richardson explained. He added that the number of people
attending Honolulu’s First Friday event has gone from
500 in the early months to about 2,000.
The artists have been generous to sponsor the entire event
with free food and beverages for the viewers,” Richardson
Andy Friedlander, also with The ARTS at Marks Garage, was identified
recently by Midweek magazine as one of the people responsible
for what is becoming known as Honolulu’s arts district.
He took the reporter on a tour of the gallery as he explained
how First Friday first came about, pointing to every intricate
piece of art, a twinkle in his eyes expressing his enthusiasm
as he explained aspects of their significance or aesthetics.
Along with art, many of the galleries provide live music, and
there’s enough food on Nu‘uanu Avenue to keep everyone’s
eyes and stomachs full. Not surprisingly, people often start
dancing on the streets, giving downtown a lively Mardi Gras
atmosphere very different from its staid, daytime, business-as-usual
I hope First Friday will be able to make people who don’t
love art become interested in it just as I have,” Friedlander
Friedlander believes that First Friday art walk tours have
been in large part responsible for the growth of the downtown
art community. First there were four galleries, he pointed
out, then 19, and now 24 galleries have moved into the neighborhood.
The renaissance is not over yet,” Friedlander said. “In
the next 15 to 18 months there will be so many more changes
that people will be amazed.”
Don’t miss this October’s First Friday later this
week. Every First Friday offers different demonstrations of
art techniques, including glass blowing.
For more information, contact The ARTS at Marks Garage at 521-2903,