The monthly First Friday Art Walk in Great Falls this weekend had great weather, perfect for strolling along Central Avenue. We decided to stop first at one location we had never been to, Studio 706, about three blocks off Central. It’s a small house with most of the furniture removed, and it worked great to showcase several local artists.
From Studio 706, we started our way down Central Avenue, stopping first at Ben Chovanak’s new Uptown Gallery. I knew several of the artists displaying here and the building has been beautifully designed with bright wall colors, hardwood floors and some brick interior walls.
Our next stop was Amazing Toys, a retail store that has a lot of toys that I remember from, well, way back! Great Falls’ artist Deeling Gregory, actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, had a table set up near the entrance and had small animals and jewelry made from clay, very brightly colored. There weren’t any small children at Amazing Toys when we were there but kids (adults too!) could find their inner artist by using Deeling’s clay. Deeling also has large, make that huge, paintings around the store. The ceilings are quite high and you can view her paintings by standing in the store and looking up and around. This photo shows a couple of them in the background.
Two other locations we visited, both on Central Avenue, were Gallery 16 and Lodestone Gallery. Gallery 16 was just wrapping up 12 months of celebrating their 40th anniversary. Formed by 16 artists (clever name) they have now expanded considerably and truly have a huge variety of art represented.
Lodestone Gallery had several featured artists in the store and a musician providing background music. Local artist Ron Ukrainetz said the guitar player, Adam McHeffey, was from New York and was in Great Falls visiting friends. We lingered, enjoyed the music and visited with the artists.
First Friday Art Walks are scheduled all over Great Falls on, of course, the first Friday of each month. You can frequently meet the artists, you will always see some incredible art, it’s free, and it’s a great outing to chat with friends.