Art For All

Downtown’s First Friday art event provides opportunities for artists to interact with community


Carmin Sims, Copy Editor

Every first Friday of the month, art galleries around downtown Lincoln open their doors to showcase  unique artwork created by local artists. This event is hosted at many different galleries including the Noyes Gallery, Gallery 9, Tugboat, Kiechel Fine Art and, of course, the well-known Sheldon Museum of Art. Artists from all over town display their talent for locals to admire, giving them the chance to potentially sell a few pieces of artwork. It is also a good place for teens to spend part of their Friday nights

The owner of the Noyes Gallery, Julia Noyes, enjoys opening her studio to the public and putting on a new show every first Friday. Unlike most galleries, the Noyes hosts another show during the month in addition to First Friday.

“You can have a fun evening, meet the artists, and everything is for sale. For us, we also have studios upstairs that are open,” Noyes said. “Anybody who wants to come down on First Friday can see a lot of galleries, and we also do Third Friday.”

Each gallery has a multitude of genres of art displayed in their showings, and Noyes says that nature is where she finds most of her inspiration. She also finds architecture to be an interesting subject for creating abstract art.

Joseph Gabriel Cameron is a local artist who has been showing his artwork at the Noyes for a year now. This gallery gives him the opportunity to exhibit his talent and sell to potential buyers. He says his work to be a bit different than the usual artist as he finds inspiration for the subject of his art from one thing only. 

“I’m more about technique. I try all of these different techniques, but I only use the sun as my subject,” Cameron said. “Sometimes I know exactly what it’s gonna look like, other times it’s an experiment. That’s what we artists call it, it’s a study.”

First Friday also gives the artists a chance to meet new people in the area, whether it’s other artists or just patrons of the shows. Cameron says that he enjoys interacting with fellow artists, as well as getting the point of view of the public. He describes the conversation as “growing within art.”

“I want honest opinions saying ‘no I would never hang that on my wall’ or say ‘yeah I love that, that’s beautiful’,” Cameron said. 

Each artist has their own reasoning for creating art, and the subjects of inspiration are endless. Gallery 9, a gallery located just across the street from Noyes, displays a variety of works by a variety of artists including a woman named Geraldine Dobis, who describes herself as a private business owner and an “artist entrepreneur.” Gallery 9 is the only gallery in which she shows her work, presenting her distinctive and inspiring exhibit titled “Art from the Inside.” Thanks to Dobis, inmates from around Lincoln are given the opportunity to create artwork every year.. She has been doing this for the past four years with the recent sponsorship of the Nebraska ACLU.

“The reason I started this four years ago was because my friend was incarcerated and he’s a really bright man. He said ‘hey, you know, a lot of people here are making art and they’d really like to show it, and you could do that for us’,” Dobis said. “So that’s what I did and we’ve been doing it every year since then.”

Dobis started out with four artists when she first began and is now consistently getting about 20 a year. 

Visiting these galleries is not only a pleasing and relaxing way to spend your Friday night, but it is also beneficial for the artists themselves. You can find these artists in downtown Lincoln on the first Friday of each month, and support the local artists who are showing their artwork to the people of the community.