Celebrations for First Friday in Macon have been ramped up for November. Galleries, theaters, restaurants and museums are opening their doors to the public and offering a variety of special events worth experiencing. With so many things happening on a single night, I thought I’d offer my suggestions for the evening.
“Listen With Your Eyes” at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance: Featuring paintings and sculpture by local artist Peter Nishanian, this exhibit is curated by Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine art at Macon Arts Alliance, a Knight Arts grantee. Nishanian is a former automotive designer and his understanding of aerodynamics, line and form are apparent in both his two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. Known mostly as a sculptor, his paintings are sure to be a welcome surprise to many. For those unfamiliar with his work, Friday offers a great chance to enjoy the creative output of one of Macon’s most prolific artists. Begin your night here. A reception will be held from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 486 First Street
“Natural Instincts” at The 567 Center for Renewal: The word on the street is this will be wild. Featuring nature photography by Darlene Murphy and Kellie Jaros, this exhibit promises to be a delight for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. Murphy is a multi-talented artist who draws her inspiration from the wonders of nature and her passionate love for creation. Jaros is an award-winning photographer who was raised on a farm. That experience has informed her work as she focuses on animals as her main subject. The opening reception will be held from 6-9 p.m. This is an all ages show and is free and open to the public. 533 Cherry Street
“Ann Randolph’s LOVELAND” at Theatre Macon: This one-night-only production features Ann Randolph, who Mel Brooks compares to the late Gilda Radner for her audacious humor, her generosity, and her ability to evoke tears and laughter almost simultaneously. The production is an irreverent, hilarious and deeply human journey focused on Frannie Potts, an out-of-control misfit overwhelmed by grief. Randolph’s critically-acclaimed solo show is only in town for one night, so make it a priority or you will miss it. (She is also offering a two-day writing workshop over the weekend, if you’re interested.) Tickets to Friday’s performance are $20. The show starts at 8 p.m. 438 Cherry Street
African Drum Circle at The Tubman African American Museum: I don’t know why I love drum circles so much, but I do. For that reason alone, I would recommend this event, but fact that November is International Percussion Month compelled me even more. Drumming is an ancient musical tradition that spans many cultures. A community drum circle creates a moment and energizes both the participants and the people who just want to enjoy the beat. The drum circle is part of the First Friday Forum series at the museum. The fun begins at 5 p.m., but call head to secure a drum. Or bring your own. The cost is $3 or three canned food for donation to the Loaves and Fishes Ministry. 340 Walnut Street
November Members Show at the Contemporary Arts Exchange: The CAE is probably the coolest place to see art in Macon, so I always recommend stopping by on First Fridays. Sadly, the group lost one of its members over the summer, Sam Zellner, a local folk artist who was also a great friend of mine and many others in the community. A memorial for Sam will be held in one gallery and the members show in the other. The arts exchange will be open from 7-10 p.m. and is always free and open on the first Friday of each month. Corner of Mulberry and Second Street
When hunger strikes, I recommend “First Friday in the Alley” for great food at some fine local eateries. Whether searching for great art, great theater or great food, First Fridays in Macon offers them all. So don’t miss out!