Saturday, April 25, 2009

Final Fridays in Nelsonville combines food, fun, and fine art

As I started to look around for events/galleries that promote local art, I remembered some references about Final Fridays in Nelsonville. So as part of my ongoing art expedition, I headed to Nelsonville to explore Final Fridays on April 24, with my husband. 

Final Fridays is held at Nelsonville's Historic Public Sqaure on the last Friday of every month, except December. Through  Athens County  conventions and visitors web page  I found that on Final Fridays, art galleries and other businesses around the Sqare remain open for visitors until 10 p.m. People can walk around the Square, enjoy live music on the streets, visit different shows in  art galleries, shop at the street stalls and watch plays and musicals at the Stuart's Opera House. 

That sounded like an excitng package.

The Square is home to many art studios and galleries like Gallery 1879: Stuart's Opera House, Hocking College Student Gallery, Majestic Gallery, Nelsonville Pottery & Gifts, Studio 4 Art, Starbrick Clay etc., and many other small retail businesses. 

Great Friday evening
While we were at the Square, it almost seemd as if we were in a different world. With its fair-like appeal, the place looked very diffferent from the usual scene in Athens. The vehicular traffic was closed at the Square.There were a few sidewalk stalls selling  bead-jewellery, baked food, and such other items. Families with kids enjoyed strolling around. Street musicians played upbeat tunes. The "community" spirit was quite palpable.

 Paper Circle, the gallery at the Sqare is hosting an exhibit of intricate Origami works by artists of "Ohio Origami." 

We went to Starbrick Clay  which had a brand new exhibit of clay and ceramic work, and Paper Circle , a hub for everything "paper art." Both galleries welcomed a steady stream of enthusiastic visitors through the late evening. Susie Thompson, an artist with the gallery, Paper Circle, attributed the enthusiasm of visitors to the pleasant weather. Paper Circle, like other galleries at the Square, inauguarted an exhibit by Ohio Origami that Friday. That was my introduction to the world of "paper art." I spent more than an hour in the gallery talking to Sara Gilfert, the art director of Paper Circle and Susie and learnt many facinating things about paper art.(more about that in the posts later.) 

 People enjoying a sunny day at the Art Square  and the street stalls

Stuart's Opera House 
On Final Fridays, Stuart's Opera House shows a free film in the 130-year-old theater
The food finale
We ended our mini art excursion with equally pleasurable food and music expereince at Rhapsody, the fine dining restaurant at the Square, run by the Hocking College culinary arts and hospitality students. Food there is pricy for what graduate students can afford, but worth every penny!
My first step into the world of art was a memorable experience! 

Share with me your Final Friday experiences and things you like about Final Fridays.


  1. Hey Ash, this looks fun. adel

  2. Hey surely is.. By the way, have you ever been at the Square? We should go together sometime..You'll really like it!

  3. I had heard of Final Fridays before but only remotely. Your post helped me to better understand what it is about and I might actually go there the next time.

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  5. Hey should visit on Final Fridays. Next will be on May 29

  6. Are there different themes for each Final Fridays?

  7. As far as I know, they do try to have different themes. For example, when I went there the theme was "music" and the various businesses were supposed to have some kind of music playing, either a record or even arrange for live music. For the upcoming Final Friday the theme I think is "Bloomin' on the bricks. Check the link