First Friday, an internationally recognized event of art exhibitions and social networking is coming to 8th Avenue in Homestead.
This Friday, May 3rd, will be the first in a six-month arts and entertainment series presented by Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. The event is sponsored locally by Carnegie Library of Homestead, Mon Valley Initiative, Enix Brewery, Honest John’s, Blue Dust, Dorothy 6 and Voodoo Brewery.
Art exhibits, live music, craft beer, food and drink specials will be happening up and down the avenue.
“Homestead First Fridays is part of a larger initiative at Rivers of Steel Arts called the Mon Valley Creative Corridor,” said Chris McGinnis, director and chief curator for Rivers of Steel Arts. “It aims to strengthen the economic and cultural vitality of the Monongahela Valley by fostering the creative economy and working together with creative professionals, enterprises, and communities to establish the region as a thriving destination to live, work and play.”
The event has been done in the Garfield neighborhood. In other cities, the event is celebrated throughout all their communities. Rivers of Steel is taking the concepts and tweaking it to fit Downtown Homestead’s unique vibe.
“Some folks are doing live music or mounting art installations and exhibitions,” said McGinnis. “Art demonstrations and activities for children, the event is very broad.”
First Friday starts at 6 PM and runs until 10 PM. There will be a variety of galleries on display throughout 8th Avenue and just off it as well.
“We’re encouraging people to come to walk around and visit different places,” said McGinnis. “We hope to attract other creative people into Homestead to be a part of the community.”
Zachariah Szabo is mounting an exhibition of his work at the former Steel Valley Arts Council. Shane Pilster, the curator of urban arts for Rivers of Steel, is curating a mural exhibition at the former CVS Pharmacy. Both galleries are on 8th Avenue.
“He’s creating site-specific installations in the basement of the space that will be open on First Friday,” said McGinnis. “He’s an awesome painter, so that’s one to go check out.”
One of the significant pieces of art in the inaugural event is an LED installation called “Aggregate” created by local artist, Ian Brill. It will light up the glass-encased egress stairwell of the Bost Building, the location of Rivers of Steel Arts offices on 8th Avenue.
The installation will debut at 8:30 PM and will run every night from that day through August.
Other dates for First Friday in Homestead: June 7th, July 5th, August 2nd, September 6th, October 4th.
“We’re coordinating it with nicer weather, and we’ll see how it goes from there,” said McGinnis. “We want to get people from Homestead and people from outside the town involved too.”
For more information, head to https://www.facebook.com/events/714752218921639/?event_time_id=714752228921638