Artists come together for opening First Friday of the year
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Dozens gathered at Frames And Things in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center for the first First Friday Art After Dark of the year Friday evening.
The monthly event, which was originally started years ago by former owner of Frames And Things Robert Weidinger II, featured artist Rhea Rose Brown, musician Jarin Cole (JC Stringz) and author Helen Munday.
In addition to the live music, art and book signing, there was also wine and other refreshments available for guests and a reading of three poems by Nicole Metts, of the Central Texas Writers Society.
“We try to have a lot of things that are just plum fun,” said Joe Friddle, owner of Frames And Things.
Friddle explained that there is no First Friday Art After Dark held in January or July due to the holidays. As far as featured artists are concerned, the shop is booked through the end of the year for First Friday Art After Dark, Friddle added. Friddle said that there would be different artists and musicians each month.
“We do what we can to make it to make it interesting and unusual and for people to come out and just have a good time,” Friddle said.
A lot of people have come to the First Friday events and shared with Friddle that they had no idea the event was happening in Copperas Cove, but once they come to one show, they end up coming back, he said.
“They really look forward to the First Friday because of all the diversity and enjoyment they get out of it,” Friddle added.
First Friday Art After Dark allows artists to get the exposure they need for their work while providing a spot for residents to go to for entertainment, Friddle said. They may come to look at art and end up buying new art with the opportunity to talk face to face with the artist who made the piece.
For Jarin Cole, this Friday’s event was his first time playing at Frames And Things. Cole, 18, is a senior at Harker Heights High School and is booked every weekend for his musical talents in playing the violin and the guitar. While guests mingled and admired the artwork, Cole played violin covers of songs by Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran and other popular artists.
Author Helen Munday had her three books available for purchase and signing, including her newest book, The Best of Eve, a cookbook featuring international recipes and inspired by her mother, who was born in the Netherlands and moved to South Africa as a child.
Munday’s other books include The War Has Ended but the Memory Lingers On, a non-fiction book based on her father’s experiences during World War II, and My Dream America, Munday’s story of how she emigrated from South Africa to the United States in her 20s.
This was her third time being featured at First Friday Art After Dark.
“I love it. It’s a community, and I love to see all different kinds of people, eclectic work of the artists,” Munday said.
Rhea Brown was the featured artist Friday evening, with her “Queen” series on display. There were seven large canvases each featuring the Ice Queen, Queen of Thorns, Ghost Queen, Queen of Dreams, Queen of Tears, Queen of Stone and the Phoenix Queen. Smaller canvases featured the Queens from a different perspective. There were also prints of the larger canvases available as well as earrings and keychains.
The “Queen” series is about domestic violence and each painting has a poem to go with it, according to Brown.
“It’s about taking the pain and taking the things you’ve experienced and turning them into something positive, so therefore they wear their crowns from their pain,” Brown said. “For instance, the Queen of Tears wears her tears but they’ve crystallized into a beautiful crown. So, it’s just to come out from the experience stronger and wiser and beautiful.”
Brown’s paintings will be displayed at Frames And Things for a month while other work by her is available through her website at www.phoenixartstudio.net.
Brown currently lives in Austin but previously lived in the Killeen-Fort Hood area and was on the Killeen Civic Art Guild until 2012.
“I feel good,” Brown said regarding being featured at Frames And Things. “Especially being in Austin, and seeing big crowds all the time, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so it’s a very nice turnout, a very nice surprise.”
First Friday Art After Dark is held the first Friday of each month at 6 p.m. at Frames And Things, located at 216 Cove Terrace Shopping Center in Copperas Cove. Next month’s show will feature artists Wanda Gunter and Jutta Mack, with music by Scott Taylor.