First Fridays seek to bring community together

First Fridays seek to bring community together
Artist Andrea J’Neene at work at Foundry Studios. First Fridays at the Foundry begin June 7. Photos by Promise Yee

CARLSBAD — The New Village Arts Foundry Studios will begin its summerlong First Fridays at the Foundry, which includes art for sale, a hands-on craft, live music and refreshments June 7. 

“It’s an open house and art party that helps to introduce Foundry Studios and New Village Arts Theatre to the community,” Laura Kurner, Foundry Studios manager, said. “There’s an interactive art experience for people who come to the event. We showcase artists’ work. Mainly it’s to create an awareness of who we are and a way of bringing the community together around the arts.”

Art for sale is created by Foundry Studios artists. Most of the 13 artists will be in studio working on art and available to talk about their artwork.

“One artist does furniture refinishing and painting,” Kurner said. “At the moment our other artists are oil and acrylic painters. In the past we have had a jeweler. We’re interested in a variety of media.”

Foundry Studios leases workspace next to the New Village Arts Theatre to artists and allows the public viewing hours to watch artists at work.

Artists say the company of fellow artists stimulates their work and conversations with spectators causes them to think further about what they are expressing.

Phyllis Swanson is an acrylic painter and muralist who has leased a studio space for four years.

“What I love about it is you have your own space to go to whenever you want,” Swanson said. “It’s a unique space, you can go in there 24/7.”

“It’s nice to be working with other artists,” she added. “Different approaches to art inspires me to try new things.”

During the week, two or more artists are usually in studio during public viewing hours.

“In general most artists have an outgoing personality and enjoy being with the public and other artists,” Kurner said. “We purposefully keep studio walls low to allow people to see all around and encourage interaction.”

“It’s amazing the synergy you get when you put a lot of artists together,” Kurner added. “They’re feeding off each others’ work like a great big family of artists. It’s exciting seeing that happening.”

Sheryl Tempchin is an abstract artist who has leased a studio space for two years.

“You have to enjoy talking to people and not be shy about having people looking over your shoulder while you work,” Tempchin said. “It makes me have to think and be more articulate about my art. It’s kind of good for me.”

During First Fridays an all-ages collaborative art activity allows event goers to help create a group art project. Past projects have included painting numbered, black-lined tile squares that, when put together sequentially, create one image.

Kurner said adults find a lot of joy in creating art.

“At first they’re hesitant to create something,” Kurner said. “They always remember it. It’s part of what we want to do, get people more involved in the arts.”

First Fridays are held the first Friday of each month through November from 6 to 10 p.m. at 2787 State Street. The event is held in conjunction with Friday Night Lights, which encourages businesses in Carlsbad Village to remain open later on Fridays.

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