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Art: Navigating Final Friday

Miska Draskoczy

On the last Friday of every month, local art galleries keep their doors open late for visitors.

This is what is known as Wichita's gallery crawl-- visiting one gallery after another, taking in as much art as possible, and all free to the public. The museums participate at times, and so do local restaurants and coffee shops.

But navigating Final Friday is a challenge, and you have to know where to go. Not every gallery is open on Final Friday and venues are located all over town. Most galleries can be found in Old Town, on Commerce Street, and in the Delano district, but some of them take a special effort to seek out.

Commerce Street, just south of the arena, is the most densely packed with art galleries, and good ones, too! Go Away Garage and Diver Studio top my list, and Fisch Haus and Fiber Studio are just a hop away.

Just off the beaten path is Center Gallery on Ellis Street. You can see the gallery from Douglas, but turning that corner proves a challenge for some. Once you find it, though, you'll feel you've discovered a real gem.

I find the best way to stay current on Final Friday happenings is to join the email art list run by CityArts. They will pass along information from a variety of arts organizations so that you can stay up to date on Final Friday and other interesting events around town.

To be added to the CityArts' art list, email Marilee Mitchell at  mamitchell@wichita.gov or Kay Blair at kblair@wichita.gov and they will get you signed up.

Final Friday roughly runs from 7 - 10 p.m., though venue times vary slightly. Don't know where to go? Follow me on Twitter for real-time reviews. Find out what's worth the visit and what you can pass up, so that you can make the most of your Final Friday.

Due to the recent snowstorm, many galleries will not be open Friday night. It would be a good idea to check on your destinations before heading out.

Lindsey's Final Friday itinerary for February: