Formed: An Artist Collective is located at 210 E. Walnut St., Suite 100. (Photo by Sony Hocklander)

April’s First Friday Artwalk, happening this weekend, features a first-ever exhibition from Springfield Regional Arts Council. It’s one of several interesting spots in this month’s packed event.

For the uninitiated, First Friday Artwalk is a monthly effort in which galleries and businesses line up arts-related events across downtown Springfield. The public is encouraged to walk downtown and pop into many in what organizers call a “self-guided tour.”

Multi-medium art extravaganza at The Creamery Arts Center

On April 1, SRAC will debut its “You Should Know” exhibition at The Creamery Arts Center (411 North Sherman Parkway) from 5-7 p.m. It’s one of 15 venues that will be open to the public.

“It’s a celebration of artists making waves in our community in a variety of ways,” said Sara Abele, SRAC director of marketing and development. “It’s a multi-medium art extravaganza that will feature never before seen pieces from Meg Wagler’s new series Loco Motion, 2-D and 3-D pieces from J. Kent Martin, large-scale pieces from Sarah Jones and Riana Clark, and new work from up-and-comer Cory Naden.”

It won’t just be visual art on display, though. The Arts Council is using the exhibition opening to kick off National Poetry Month with live readings from 2019-21 Missouri Poet Laureate Karen Craigo, 2022 Poetry Out Loud Southwest Regional winner Tyler Johnson and students from Drury University, Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College.

“We want to encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the amazing variety of talent that is hosted not only in The Creamery Arts Center but also in our community,” Abele said.

Other April First Friday Artwalk highlights

The Monarch Art Factory (600 West College St.) features “Recollection,” featuring the artwork of Annie Donohue, photographic art by owner Angela Hughes and body painting by Karly Fahey from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Fresh Gallery, meanwhile, will celebrate the winners of its 2022 Juried Art Show and Exhibition. The awards ceremony starts at 7 p.m. at 401 North Boonville.

Over at Hotel Vandivort (305 East Walnut), Danielle Million will share her photography from 6-9 p.m. The Springfield native has a love for all things unusual and The Order, the upscale restaurant inside Hotel Vandivort, has something special to celebrate that.

“We created a cocktail based off her work,” said Caroline Clifford, Hotel V’s marketing manager. “It is called The Unusual. We’re encouraging guests to stay and sip a few extra minutes while they view her work and get to know her.”

Student work will take center stage at several galleries, including Obelisk Home (214 West Phelps). Their exhibition “Next” features a wide range of artwork by high school students from Central and Glendale. Drury University’s Pool Arts Center (940 North Clay Ave.) presents the annual All Student Competitive Exhibition.

Missouri State University will have work showing at both Brick City Galleries (215 West Mill) and the Carolla Center (326 North Boonville), while Kokoro Training Academy (212 West McDaniel) will feature the work from 17 MSU students from Erin Sedra’s Intro to New Media class.

Other participating venues this month include

  • BookMarx, 325 East Walnut
  • Formed: An Artist Collective, 210 East Walnut
  • Forming Art Studios, 330 South Avenue
  • Park Central Branch Library, 128 Park Central Square
  • Springfield Vineyard, 634 West Wall St.

In addition, Hold Fast Brewing will feature live music from Bryan Copeland at 7 p.m. and food from Boss Hog’s BBQ.

Venues are open variable times from 5-10 p.m. for First Friday Art Walk. For more information, including maps and a full listing, visit the official FFAW website.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger