Dupont art galleries open their doors for First Fridays

It’s a Friday night and you just got paid.

Or, given that this is DC, it’s a Friday night…and you don’t have any money because you’re working an unpaid internship that may help you get a job sometime in the distant future. Well, fear not because someone, somewhere in DC is willing to entertain you for free.

That’s where First Fridays come in, for those of you who want to start the month off with a bang.

Nearly the only area that is both accessible from Georgetown (via the GUTS bus or the G2) and known for nightlife, Dupont Circle is home to an array of art galleries, many of whom open their doors, hearts, and wine cabinets to guests on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Some people think of art galleries as intimidating, but we try to be inviting and it really is lively and fun,” Adah Rose Bitterbaum, director of Studio Gallery, said.

If you’re in the mood for ethereal, sea creature themed artwork, then it’s time to hit up Studio Gallery at 2108 R St. N.W. Many of the artists attend First Fridays, so it’s a chance for the public to talk to the persons behind the paintings, photographs, sculptures, or whatever medium.

(A tip: Check out the artwork at Studio Gallery’s website before visiting, and you’ll have plenty to talk about with the artists.)

For an array of self-portraits, visit the oldest artist-owned space in Dupont, Gallery 10 at 1519 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Since the gallery is known for its avant-garde work, such as one exhibit in which paintings showed dogs impersonating saints, one can only guess whether at least one artist will be getting in touch with his inner canine.

The most bustling First Friday, which usually has a local DJ mixing beats and sometimes even has a live musician playing, is the Hillyer Arts Space, located at 9 Hillyer Ct. NW, behind the Phillips Collection. Its new exhibition features local DC artists Ben Ferry (who lectures at Georgetown) and Judith Peck. Open an hour later than the rest, you can come by and listen to Moon/Bounce DJ as late as 9 pm, though by then the food may be gone. But this week, thanks to a lovely donation, there should be enough of everyone’s favorite hipster beer, Pabst’s Blue Ribbon, to go around all evening.

Of course, the life of the urbane city dweller is not for everyone. For most college students, art appreciation just isn’t a priority. However, it is a simple fact that the average college student, at least for now, has lived through and probably loved the nineties. There’s something about campy high waist jeans and crop tops that calls to us. In that case, the Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival isn’t such a bad fallback choice. Even the best art connoisseurs have to start somewhere—right?

Photo used with the permission of the Hillyer Arts Space.

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