A magical evening of food, wine and the arts awaits community members tonight as the First Friday Gallery Walk commences at 6 p.m.
"We have a buffet and some wonderful pieces to look at," said Barbara Moore , artist at the Benson Gallery. "It's great and the artists are wonderful – not a snob among them."
The First Friday Gallery Walks occur the first Friday evening of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. Approximately 13 galleries including the Benson Gallery, Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, The Collective Fine Art Gallery, Trimble Court Artisans and Canyon Spirit Gallery, all located in the Old Town area, open their doors and extend their hours in order to provide visitors the chance to check out local artists and local galleries.
Food and wine are also offered at most of the galleries adding an ambience of sophistication.
The Benson Gallery is among one of the galleries involved in the Gallery Walks. Moore was a featured artist at one of the previous walks and believes this is a necessary component of Fort Collins' art culture.
The event provides unity among local businesses and organizations in an effort to promote the arts, which is precisely the outcome Donna Visocky , director of Arts Alive, wants to see.
"That's our goal – to work closely with all of the arts organizations," Visocky said. "We coordinate and organize the first Friday Gallery walks, that's one of Arts Alive's pet projects."
Arts Alive continually works to coordinate the Friday Night Gallery Walks with various galleries around Old Town.
"We have a huge variety of different things," said Nancy Zoller, pottery artist at the Trimble Court Artisans gallery . "We always serve food and make it fun. Each gallery walk we normally feature one or two artists."
Trimble Court Artisans gallery has been involved in the program for almost eight years.
This year, however, Visocky plans to increase the overall experience of the event.
"We are working on an ad campaign to sell not just the galleries themselves but the entire experience of coming to Downtown Fort Collins," she said. "We are bringing in street musicians and entertainment so there might be a saxophone playing on the corner next Friday night."
Visocky hopes to add street performers and other activities to this event, which might allow people to begin realizing just how important the arts are. Visocky also wishes this event will help people get excited for her goal of designating Fort Collins as the official center for the arts.