16 February First Friday picks
New prints from Conrad Benner, flash fiction contests and more artsy events abound.
BY AUBREY NAGLE
Every first Friday of the month, the art institutions of Philadelphia open up to the public for special events (many of which are free) and exhibit receptions. All in one night on Friday, Feb. 6, you can learn to tango, hear live Brazilian music and discover beautiful work from Philadelphia's leading artists.
Philly photographer Conrad Benner is launching limited-edition prints of his most requested work. Each first Friday, he'll release different prints. The first collection,"Instagram Favorites Collection #1," is super affordable, so grab them while you can!
While supplies last | $12 each or $44 for all six
The Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania is free to visitors all day.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Free admission
Institute of Contemporary Art
118 S. 36th St.
Eighteen art galleries in New Hope, Bucks County, and Lambertville, New Jersey, are teaming up for one big gallery crawl featuring live music and special offers at area restaurants.
5-9 p.m. | Free admission
Check out abstract and conceptual art in many forms at this anniversary exhibit.
5-8 p.m. | Free admission
52 N. 2nd St.
Turned wood artist Stoney Lamar exhibits unique sculptures from his 25 years in the medium.
5-8 p.m. | Free admission
The Center for Art in Wood
141 N. 3rd St.
Up-and-coming and established local artists will display their work at this open-call group show.
5-9 p.m. | Free admission
3rd Street Gallery
45 N. 2nd St.
Sip on some sparkling pink champagne and get shiny new earrings free with any purchase.
5:30-8 p.m. | Pay as you go
Never Too Spoiled
57 N. 3rd St.
Attend the opening reception for this set of neon sculptures and painted works by artist Bonnie Brenda Scott.
6-10 p.m. | Free admission
James Oliver Gallery
723 Chestnut St., Fourth Floor
Join this open workshop night for a flash fiction contest, reading and drinking.
6-8 p.m. | Free admission
The Head & the Hand
2012 Sepviva St.
Celebrate the launch of this collaborative between Philadelphia makers Honest Alchemy, Good Wear Co., Forager Co., Custom Lifestyle and Bombyx Vintage with complimentary cocktails.
6-8 p.m. | Free admission
Art in the Age
116 N. 3rd St.
Afro-Brazilian band Xande Cruz, Brazilian street band PhillyBloco and capoeira dancers perform live in celebration of Brazilian Day Philadelphia.
6-9 p.m. | $25, free for members
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Bring a birthday or anniversary card and get 19 percent off one item, then stick around for live demonstrations and performances in the front windows.
7-10 p.m. | Free admission
PASSIONAL Boutique & Sexploratorium
317 South St.
Try out dancing the tango for free, no previous experience, registration or partner required.
7-8 p.m. | Free admission
Philadelphia Argentine Tango School
2030 Frankford Ave.
The opening reception for illustrator Sam Heimer's exhibit - which includes tons of bar drawings and an interactive digital installation - will feature a drink-and-draw with the artist himself.
7:30-9 p.m. | Free admission
1526 Frankford Ave.
Nicole Ellingson leads a vinyasa yoga class accompanied by live music from Kent Ellingson. Space is limited.
7:30 p.m. | $15
530 E. Girard Ave.
King Britt and Kate Watson-Wallace curate a collaboration featuring Xenia Rubinos, Low Leaf, Ryat, Monica McIntyre, Jasmine Hearn and Linda Aubry Bullock to celebrate the Divine Feminine. The after-party features DJ duo The Queens.
8 p.m. | $15 in advance, $20 at the door, members save 30 percent
140 N. Columbus Blvd.
Getting Lit: An Aperitif and Round 1 with Steph Post
It’s no secret that books and booze go together (Here’s looking at you, just about every famous and not-so-famous writer ever). It’s also no secret that in the past decade or so the “craft” movement has come in waves and brought beer, spirits, cocktails, and about nineteen other types of products to the forefront of our culture. My own research and work has brought me to much the same place.
In college, I started home brewing beer in a plastic container in the closet of my apartment. From there, I got an “internship” (read: I worked and got paid in wine, not money) at a winery in Montana. That job was followed up with stints volunteering at other breweries, learning more about beer and other drinks, working as a bartender and eventually helping start a craft brewery. At the same time, I got my MA-English and read and wrote about booze in books and books and booze and a number of other connections between the two. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of time around booze and books. The two are intimately tied in my own head, as they are in many others. Hence, this new series.
I set out to accomplish a couple of things with Getting Lit. First, I wanted to talk to writers about their own work. After that, I wanted to make a direct connection with a type of alcohol (or other drink in the case of those that don’t drink) and then use that chosen drink to create a custom cocktail for that particular work/author.
This will get better as it goes along, obviously (well, hopefully), but those are my goals at the outset. Talk about books. Talk about booze. Connect the two. Shake and enjoy. I’m open to all feedback on the drinks and if you are a writer interested in participating in this series, email me: email@example.com.
Round 1 with Steph Post
Sam: Can you tell me a little bit about the genesis of your debut novel, A Tree Born Crooked(Pandamoon, 2014)?
Steph Post: The characters came first (they always do). I knew I wanted to write about people who had to scrap their way through life, trying to make it in a place that had given up on them. Once I had the title—which came before any actual writing—I started to see what was taking shape: a story about folks struggling to find their meaning, even if the world thinks they have none.
S: How’d the title come about?
SP: The title comes from a line in the Tom Waits’ song “How’s It Gonna End.” When the novel was still being formed in my head, my husband emphatically told me that it was the title. I had no idea what being a tree born crooked meant, so I had to work it out as I wrote. It’s a strange instance of a title influencing a story, but it worked out.
S: Can you give me five words you think best describe Tree as a whole?
SP: Honest, lyrical, gritty, atmospheric, badass. I have no idea why, but that was a really hard question!
S: Follow-up to that: if you could choose one spirit/type of beer/wine to epitomize the novel, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be a specific brand.
SP: Bourbon for sure. (Wild Turkey, if you wanted a specific brand.)
S: A woman after my own heart. Last question: what are you working on next?
SP: I’m currently working on my 3rd novel (there’s another, after Tree, that I’m still shopping around). This new one is straight up Southern Gothic and it’s really testing me right now. Think tricksters, voodoo, carnivals, Appalachia, modernism, nihilism, Snow White and the most badass female character I’ve ever written. And that’s just for starters.
The Crooked Tree
[Note: I wanted the drink to reflect the darkness of the novel while also embodying its Southern roots, in particular those of the Florida locale. The woodiness of the root beer liqueur blends with that of the bourbon and the cinnamon stick to give you an earthy cocktail that has just enough sweetness from the orange juice. The bourbon is still the overwhelming flavor and it is intended to kick you a bit, just like the novel.]
1. 2oz bourbon
2. 1oz orange juice
3. .5oz root beer liqueur (such as Art in the Age Root)
4. Cinnamon stick for garnish
Mix ingredients in shaker with ice. Strain and serve in a rocks glass with a cinnamon stick garnish.
About Steph Post:
“Steph Post is a tried and true Florida native. Not palm-tree-laden-fruity-drink-tropical-shirt-and-sandals South Florida, but backwoods-on-a-creek-deer-flies-and-alligator-ridden North Florida. Her adventurous childhood growing up in just such a precarious landscape has led to a lifetime of dauntless creativity and the Scrappy mentality that she can achieve just about anything if she sets her mind to it.
This somewhat reckless outlook has led to a Bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College, numerous waitressing and bartending gigs, a penchant for writing long academic papers on punk rock and Alice in Wonderland, a Master’s degree in Graduate Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the acquisition of six slightly deranged mutts and an extremely tolerant husband, two novels, a house in St. Petersburg, Florida and a fulfilling job as a high school teacher at a performing arts school in Tampa.
Spice up this timeline with the knowledge that she has also been a recipient of the Patricia Cornwell creative writing scholarship, winner of the Vereen Bell award for short fiction, semi-finalist for the Big Moose prize for fiction, loves coffee, is obsessed with the television show Justified and enjoys reading classic literature when she’s not too busy being a badass, and you should have a pretty good picture of who you’re dealing with here. Like the characters she writes about, Steph Post is vulnerable and volatile, fearless and fierce. She hopes you enjoy her work.”
THE MAMACITA SKINNY HEATHEN Feb 2015
Lithe's Spicy Lemonade is a raw juice blend with cold-pressed lemon, cayenne, coconut nectar, and filtered water. It's spicy, hydrating, and immunity-boosting. Plus, it restores your body's healthy alkaline balance. AITA's Snap is inspired by traditional German lebkuchen (gingersnaps!), but not the mass-marketed sugar-laden kind. Pennsylvania Dutch gingersnaps are made with hearty blackstrap molasses and fresh ginger. This cocktail can be served on the rocks, but it's especially delicious warmed in a crock-pot or on the stove, hot toddy-style.
2 oz. Snap
2 oz. Lithe Spicy Lemonade
1 oz. apple cider
Cinnamon for garnish
Fill a Collins glass with ice, pour in Spicy Lemonade and cider. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Image via Chaucee
Valentine’s Day Cocktails with Art in the Age Craft Spirits
4 parts Raspberry Puree
2 parts RHUBARB Tea
Assemble ingredients in a champagne flute and top with champagne.
2 parts RHUBARB
1 part St. Germaine
3 parts grapefruit juice
Assemble all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker glass and shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
*Photos and recipes provided by Art in the Age
6 Best Stores for Men’s Valentine’s Day Shopping
Gifting made easy.
Guy gifts are historically tricky purchases. Valentine’s Day guy gifts are even trickier. Laden with meaning (are we or aren’t we?), a perfectly appropriate present can propel you to the next relationship stage (or precede a breakup if necessary). To help you zero in on the ideal gift, we rounded up the best local shops and e-tailers for men’s Valentine’s Day shopping.
ToBox // 25 South 19th Street, Rittenhouse.
February First Friday picks: Arts, beer & more
It’s that special time when Friday is not just Friday but a glorious little nugget of community entertainment. Here’s the forecast for First Friday, Feb. 6.
Experience a wealth of sensory delight at Asian Arts Initiative’s (1219 Vine St.) reception and community meal surrounding its latest exhibit “Pallets & Palates: Placing Taste, Sound and Sight.” Utilizing repurposed industrial pallets and ceramic fermentation crocks, paintings and sound art, the community-building aspect of meals is explored. The reception and meal runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Shop from a collective of Philadelphia lifestyle good makers at Art in the Age (116 N. 3rd St.) when they welcome representatives from Honest Alchemy, Good Wear Co., Forager Co., Custom Lifestyle, and Bombyx Vintage for First Friday. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. chat, shop and sip on exclusive Art in the Age beverages.
If you think you’ve seen it all, think again. Little Berlin (2430 Coral St.) hosts a Robot Fight Club night. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., come to build your own robot and get a chance to sign up for Hebocon a robot sumo wrestling competition for the technologically declined — held later this month.
Here’s an excuse to get dressed up. The opening reception for “Touched,” a collaborative show featuring 15 artists, will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The First Banana (2152 E. Dauphin St.) and feature tunes from local punk rockers Sparklefight. Your most elegant attire is requested.
The city’s hippest young professionals can have a chance to mix and mingle at Crane Arts (1400 N. American St.) for a preview of InLiquid’s benefit auction. From 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., place bids on artwork, enjoy some snacks and cocktails, and leave feeling like a class act.
Performing arts come to the spotlight at Headlong Dance Theater (1170 S. Broad St.) for a selection of new dance works, poetry, comedy and more. They’re offering two showings: One at 6:30 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. Free beer and food will be at both.
Cheers to the weekend. Bottle Bar East (1308 Frankford Ave.) hosts a Do Good Brewing Company release party for their Do Good Milk Street Stout with additional drink and food samples from Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant starting at 7 p.m. As the night goes on, you’ll transition from jazz to DJ tuneage.
Curious about what the future holds? Queen of Wands Tarot will be giving free tarot card readings at Scout Salvage (21 N. 3rd St.) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Vintage shopping may also be in your future — shop and snack while you await your reading.
The short documentary “SEPTA: In Motion” will screen at Vinyl Revival (35-37 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne) for a BYOB First Friday event. The doc, giving a look at the day-to-day life at SEPTA’s control center in Center City, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and a Q&A with the film’s executive producer, producer, assistant director, and SEPTA’s suburban supervisor will follow.
A collective of female performers, ranging in discipline from harp to vocals to dance, will perform beginning at 8 p.m. at FringeArts (140 N. Columbus Blvd.) for a curated event celebrating femininity across cultures.
Danger Salon (108 E. Girard Ave.) will be transformed into a scene fit for a drag queen. Mistor Fahrenheit, Luna LaVey and PrettyGirl will kick off a night of drag and dancing starting at 9 p.m. Even better? Free PBR and Sailor Jerry drinks.