First Friday, September 2011
The monthly First Friday umbrellas a density of special events, exhibitions, performances, and more in downtown Dayton. Initiated and promoted by the amazing non-profit Downtown Dayton Partnership, First Fridays are now a regular part of the creative scene. I was enthralled by the energy and excitement at each destination and seeing it pour on to the streets.
We started off in the Oregon District at the Mike Elsass Gallery and the Record Gallery, located in a joint space on the corner of 5th and Brown. Young folks were setting up a huge canvas on the sidewalk across the street, getting ready for a live performance. Around the corner, we moved on to Clash Consignments on Third Street which displayed a wide variety of artwork, hand crafted sellables, and vintage clothing. Particuarly of note was the amazing six month old I met (pictured below) who really captured the spirit of the evening (awesome). The Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) on Jefferson was hosting a final choreographed performance by Bulgarian artist Liliana Basarab. Heading towards the Cannery, we swung into Olive, an urban dive, which blew my mind with its First Friday special of dessert and a drinks. I enjoyed Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream flavors Salty Caramel and Goat Cheese and Cherry.
After the desserts, we headed through the Garden Station where a band was getting started–although it was now dark and late, the two acre lot next to the train tracks on Wayne and Fourth Street–was inviting and populated by audiences craving to hear some live music in a special space in the last summer First Friday. Across the street, the Yellow Cab Company, inhabited by the Dayton Circus Creative Collective, was finishing up an exhibition opening. The building is remarkable, as if the preservation of its former use now dominates the creative process of existing in the space. The carpeted walls and specific era furniture were captivating; it was like peeking into something that had always been invisible.