Artist Ashley Laren poses next to some of her work. Laren’s work will be featured at the 2nd Annual Show Your Colors Showcase during First Friday Art Walk March 4. The showcase, presented by the Artists Empowerment Collective, is hosted by the Pool Arts Center Gallery. (Photo by Geve Peñaflor)

March’s First Friday Art Walk features more than 15 venues, including a brand new studio space in the heart of Downtown.

Art Walk, a self-guided tour of art galleries and businesses, runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Formed: An Artist Collective will be celebrating a double grand opening with its new venture, Forming Artist Studios. Formed will be celebrating one year in business at 210 East Walnut St. Just around the corner, at 330 South Ave., is Forming. That building will host studio space for local artists as well as classroom space for workshops and courses that will be open to the public. The evening includes the chance to speak with artists and enjoy live music by Tony Menown and The Bold Deniers.

Drury University’s Pool Arts Center hosts the 2nd Annual Show Your Colors Showcase by the Artists Empowerment Collective March 4 to March 25. The exhibition features local artists of color sharing works inspired by self-identity and expression, giving viewers a glimpse into their lives.

“People can expect to see ceramics, charcoal art, paintings, photography and dance films,” Keisha McMillen, Artists Empowerment Collective chairperson, said. “I encourage guests to stick around the 6 to 7 p.m. hour for performances by Jin J. X, Jonathan Byrd and Jocelyn Perez.”

The opening reception is 5 to 8 p.m. during First Friday Art Walk. The Pool Arts Center is located at 940 North Clay Ave.

Other participating First Friday Art Walk venues include BookMarx, The Creamery Arts Center, Fresh Gallery, The Geek Foundation, Monarch Art Factory, OH Gallery at Obelisk Home, Park Central Branch Library and Vineyard Church.

Missouri State University will have four locations participating in First Friday Art Walk this month, including Brick City Gallery East, Brick City Gallery West and the Carolla Arts Exhibition Center. The MSU International Program, at the Jim D. Morris Center, will have an informational gallery from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. celebrating Women’s Herstory Month. Guests will meet MSU International students and learn more about influential women from all over the world.

In the mood for live music? Visit Hold Fast Brewing for Sam Allbright and the Southern Heat. The Meat Hooks BBQ food truck starts serving food at 5 p.m. and the band plays at 7.

For more information on First Friday Art Walk, email artwalknews@gmail.com or visit their website.

Fresh Gallery accepting submissions for juried art show

Fresh Gallery is now accepting entries for the 2022 Fresh Gallery Juried Art Show, sponsored by Simmons Bank. This competition is open to all local and regional artists. 

Fresh Gallery is accepting 2D and 3D artwork in the following mediums: acrylic, ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, oil, pastels, sculpture, textiles, watercolor and wood. Submissions must be original work that has not previously been exhibited at Fresh Gallery.

The exhibition will run April 1 to April 29, with an opening reception and award ceremony 6 to 9 p.m. during April’s First Friday Art Walk. The submission deadline is March 20 at midnight. For more information, visit Fresh Gallery’s 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