MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA, 11/29/22 – This month’s First Friday art walks in Fort Bragg and Ukiah on December 2 showcase the wide diversity of the region’s artists through group exhibitions. Given that the holidays are about gathering with friends and family, December’s First Friday is a great chance to join fellow art enthusiasts to celebrate creativity and select the perfect handmade holiday gift for a loved one.
First Friday art walks are held in historic downtown Ukiah and Fort Bragg the evening of the first Friday of each month. Galleries and museums open their doors to the public, for free, often offering live music, beer and wine, and special activities to complement the art works presented. Here are our picks for what not to miss during December’s First Friday tour.
Artists from the coast come together for “Gratitude” at the Northcoast Artists Gallery. This huge group show features artwork ranging from assemblage to paintings and showcases the many artists that are members of the cooperative gallery. Mix and mingle with fellow art lovers and peruse a wide range of works for sale. While there, consider a holiday gift (or gift for yourself!) such as the soda-fired ceramics by Satoko Barash, Celtic-inspired weatherproof garden wall plaques by Ann and Jon Maglinte, or jewelry by Tara Turner, who melds metal and felt into unique wearable art. The gallery recently underwent a much-needed renovation, so it’s a great chance to visit if you haven’t in a while. 5-8 p.m., 362 N. Main St., Fort Bragg.
Cats and dogs rule at this month’s Art Explorers exhibit, “Dog Days of December.” The nonprofit gallery, which features the work of artists with developmental disabilities, contains paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints starring cats and dogs. The Mendocino Coast Humane Society will be on hand with adoptable pets. Handmade holiday gifts by Art Explorers’ artists will also be on sale. Tasty treats (for humans and animals) and wine from Handley Cellars will be served, making it a fun evening for all. 5-7 p.m., 333 N. Franklin St., Fort Bragg.
While not necessarily a formal exhibit, Pacific Textile Arts hosts a holiday market with one-of-a-kind handmade textiles including scarves, hats, bags, ornaments, felted jewelry, stuffed toys, pillows and more. If you can’t make it on First Friday, the market runs through December 17. 5-8 p.m., 450 Alger St., Fort Bragg.
Petite, pocket-sized, tiny, or just plain small – however you describe it, that’s what the size of the artworks are at Medium Art Gallery’s juried group exhibition “Small Works.” As the name implies, the exhibition, in partnership with the Deep Valley Arts Collection, features small artworks in all mediums priced at $200 or less, making the evening a perfect opportunity for a pint-sized purchase for yourself, a friend or family member. The evening includes a miniature diorama ornament workshop, beer, snacks and live music. 5-8 p.m., Pear Tree Center, 522 E. Perkins St., Ukiah.
The Ukiah Branch Library hosts “Balance of the Earth, Air, Water & Light,” a solo exhibition of local acrylic painter Ginger O’Shea. O’Shea’s abstract art landscapes feature surprising color choices and dramatic shapes, all inspired by the elements and environs of Mendocino County and beyond. A miniature landscape painting activity will take place and harpist Suni Robin will perform. Books will also be on sale courtesy of the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. 5-7 p.m., 105 N. Main St., Ukiah.
The Corner Gallery hosts its annual holiday show comprising works by its various members. The show features silk scarves, jewelry, gift boxes, photography, woodworking, quilts, and more. All artworks and gifts at the gallery will be 15% off so patrons can kick off their holiday shopping. 5-8 p.m., 201 S. State St., Ukiah.
Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.