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Where to go for First Friday

Erin McGee Ferrell's Petra Photo Credit: Erin McGee Ferrell Erin McGee Ferrell's "Petra" is on display at Bluestone.

We won’t judge you if it’s been awhile since you made it out to First Friday, Old City’s monthly art gallery extravaganza. We get it — you’ve been busy this summer with trips to the shore and weddings and backyard barbecues. But now it’s time to soak up the art you’ve been missing. Go tonight for all the opening receptions, while it’s still nice enough to wander around outside, strolling from gallery to gallery. And here’s a bonus tip from the pros: Show up early, before the free wine, cheese and other nibbles run out.

‘Structures: Urban and Coastal Philadelphia/Maine’
We can’t help ourselves – we love depictions of our own city. Our interest is especially piqued when we see Philly through a slathering of heavy oil paints, as in the work of Erin McGee Ferrell. While this particular collection at Bluestone Fine Art Gallery focuses on right angles, buildings, bridges and machinery, you may be familiar with some of her previous work: Ferrell blends fine art with performance art by setting up an easel and painting scenes from the Italian Market or the Art Museum steps, all while wearing a ball gown.
142 N. Second St., 856-979-7588, www.bluestone-gallery.com

‘A Collection of Shaped Objects’
You already know that going to the Art in the Age shop on First Friday is worth it for the booze alone. Each month, though, we’re enticed to stick around long after our Root cocktail or Spodee wine is drained to check out the distinctly offbeat exhibitions. This month the focus is on the carpentry craft of former surfer Ben McBrien. He’s the owner of Farmhaus, which produces rustic furniture made from reclaimed wood, like fallen trees and scarps of lumber.
116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, www.artintheage.com

The afterparty
Finish off your night at the Clay Studio, where, in addition to the typical First Friday complimentary refreshments, you’ll get something you won’t find anywhere else: a chance to peek into the resident artists’ studio space. It’s an opportunity to mingle with artists and talk shop while in an actual shop, an area that is rarely open to the public.
$10 (free for members), 137-139 N. Second St., 215-925-3453, www.theclaystudio.org

 
 
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