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FIRSTfriday of F.C.’s New ArtALot, ‘Cruise-In’ Event Debuts Friday

ALOTdeniseArtALot, FIRSTfriday of Falls Church’s newest endeavor, will launch this Friday night when the parking lot adjacent to Art and Frame of Falls Church in the 100 block of Park Avenue will transform into “an art destination” fully stocked with exhibitors, live music and classic cars.

 

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AREA ARTISTS’ work to be featured at this month’s ArtALot include that of artist Denise Philipbar (Photo: News-Press)

 

ArtALot, FIRSTfriday of Falls Church’s newest endeavor, will launch this Friday night when the parking lot adjacent to Art and Frame of Falls Church in the 100 block of Park Avenue will transform into “an art destination” fully stocked with exhibitors, live music and classic cars.

This comes three months after the monthly FIRSTfriday tradition celebrated its 100th event last February. The event is the brainchild of Art and Frame Owner Tom Gittins, designed since 2001 to highlight local art and artists and fuel local business activity.

Gittins said ArtALot was the result of a “natural evolution of bringing the arts to Falls Church.”

“Art and Frame may be small inside, but we’ve got the space outdoors with our parking lot to do more during the warmer months,” he said.

Though previous FIRSTfridays have managed to schedule live music outside here and there, Gittins said “nothing was ever consistent” — until now, that is.

ArtALot will feature local artists and craftsmen exhibits alongside musical stage performances and a spread of classic cars, as part of Don Beyer Volvo’s “Cruise-In Fridays,” on the first Friday of every month now through Oct. 1.

This Friday’s exhibits include photographer Bob Witt’s “Grounded: Starting from the Ground Up,” as well as painting and sculpture by Denise Philipbar, handcrafted artisan jewelry and repair service by Hazel Brutsche and art by Bev Rocco, Justine Spilman and others.

Gittins has been reaching out to automobile-enthusiast clubs from Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland and invited their members to cruise into ArtALot with their old-style wheels. Car makes and models from the 1930s to 60s will line the side of Art and Frame’s parking lot. The first 35 cars to roll in will get a free commemorative “Cruise-In” Fridays t-shirt and dashboard plaque.

 

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PROMOTIONAL T-SHIRTS for ArtALot were unveiled earlier this week, along with the dashboard plaques (top right) for classic cars participating in “Cruise-In” Fridays. (Photo: News-Press)

 

Mayor Robin Gardner, Sheriff Stephen Bittle and Mike Beyer of Don Beyer Volvo have been invited to serve as official car judges. A top finisher will walk away with a trophy each month.

Gittins said there’s no cutoff to how many cars will be allowed into ArtALot, and no formal sign-up has been put into place.

“They’ll just cruise right in,” beamed Gittins, adding that he hopes the broad following of car fanatics will encourage people of all types from outside the area to venture to Falls Church to taste the local arts and retail scene

Keller Williams Realtor Tori McKinney has signed on to sponsor the musical acts each month, with the F.C. Recreation and Parks Division providing the stage. The band slated for the kick-off Friday this week is Guava, made up of George Mason High School students Matt Abel, Ethan Davis, Chris Almeidad and Tyler Waters.

Future acts scheduled to perform include Mercury Rising on June 4, The Sparkplugs on July 9, The StyleMasters on Aug. 6 and Doug Parks and The Lone Wolves on Sept. 3.

Tickets for a raffle drawing will be sold for $5 each. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, helping military families. The other half will be awarded to the ticket holder whose number is drawn. Gittins said prizes will also be raffled off.

ArtALot takes place this Friday, May 7 from 5 – 8 p.m., with Guava going on at 6 p.m., in the parking lot adjacent to Art and Frame of Falls Church located at 111 Park Avenue. Parking will be available on the top level of the Kaiser Permanente parking garage and at 113 Park Avenue after 5 p.m.