First Friday Art Walk: Where to Go

When: Every First Friday from 6 to 9 pmff-logo
Where: R Street Corridor, Downtown Sacramento

A burgeoning arts and commercial strip of Downtown Sacramento is the R Street Corridor. Think of it as the art and design district. It spans roughly from 8th Street through 15th Street and on R and S Streets. While Second Saturday is certainly the more established, publicized art walk in Sacramento, the First Friday tradition is growing and is geared towards attracting more serious art appreciators.

From west to east, here’s my guide to the hottest spots:

Beatnik Studios, 723 S Street

A huge beautiful historic brick building that houses some of the most progressive art exhibits and installations in Sacramento. Owned and operated by the passionate and visionary Wes Davis (who is an exceptional photographer in his own right), this place is a must-see stop on any gallery tour of Sacramento. The space also doubles as an event venue.

Tip: Stop by acclaimed local roasters Insight Coffee on the corner of S and 9th on the way to your next stop, odds are you will catch an art exhibit here too.

ARTHOUSE on R, 1021 R Street, Second Floor (building adjacent to Fox and Goose)

Wander upstairs and enter an expansive row of over 16 artist studios plus a common exhibit space that changes artists monthly. Several established local artists such as Michele Andres, Dianne Poinski, Merle Axelrad, and Shirley Hazlett are among the many studio residents, whose work varies from photography, fabric, metal, painting, and more.

Tip: Next door is Fox and Goose, a traditional English pub and Sacramento landmark since 1975, offering a nice selection of specialty British ales along with a full bar and restaurant.

WAL Public Market, 1104 R Street

Curator Trisha Rhomberg turns the public hall of this indoor marketplace into a gallery experience, featuring a variety of work on different themes each month. What makes this place special is that it provides a great platform for emerging artists to show their work next to more established artists, hence pieces are available at a range of prices for easy art collecting.

Tip: A quick and cheap bite at health food innovators Fish Face Poke Bar or Metro Kitchen + Drinkery will hold you over through the next few stops.

Warehouse Artist Lofts, 1108 R Street

Consider this place the heartbeat of the Sacramento art scene. Open in 2015, it is home to over 100 artists. Every First Friday, residents have the opportunity to open up their live/work lofts to visitors to show and sell their work in a one-on-one environment. Come see how these hard working artists create their art.

Tip: While you’re inside, hit #7 on the elevator to get to the building’s rooftop garden – one of the best views of the Sacramento sunset in the city!

1810 Gallery, 1810 12th Street

It’s definitely worth seeking out this small but well-curated gallery. Local muralist and art scene activist Shaun Burner operates 1810, which is only open a few times a month. Shows often sell out so making time to visit on First Friday is a great way to get first dibs on high quality pieces that trend towards more modern, edgy tastes.

Tip: Grab an excellent craft cocktail next door at artist hangout Bottle and Barlow.

Raphael Delgado Art Studio, 1200 S Street

Prominent contemporary abstract painter Raphael always hosts a fun and inviting First Friday at his studio. His work ranges from large canvas paintings to small oils on wood panel to woodblock prints to inventive mixed media pieces.

Tip: From here, grab a late dinner at a range of excellent options within walking distance, including The Shady Lady, Hook and Ladder, Shoki Ramen House, or Magpie.

See you out there!

:: art belongs everywhere ::