Foodies lead the exploration of art, music at First Fridays

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first fridays bixby knollsThis Friday, March 5, Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays begins at 6:00 p.m., but savvy guests will come early to “Dine on Art-Lantic Avenue.” Have dinner at one of the many restaurants along the corridor, then grab a seat on board the Big Red Bus for a free lift from venue to venue.

No time to eat? Join the foodies from LB Food Review for cocktail hour in the Nino’s Art Bar and kick off First Fridays in style. Taylor Nelson and Chris Livingston, who founded a website of the same name, say that LB Food Review is about sharing a passion for the city by hosting gatherings at local culinary favorites. The duo will start at Nino’s then head north on the Big Red Bus. The group will make a stop along the way to sample a few microbrews, then continue on to their final destination just across from the Expo Building.

Head into the Gallery Expo (4321 Atlantic Avenue) to find out the answers to all of arts questions. Art reflects life? Or life reflects art? Or is it live art? Well, maybe not all the answers.

ArtistsAsArt will perform live drawing and artist collaboration at the Expo. Bring a sketchpad or camera and explore your creative side. Everyone is invited to join the artists in immortalizing the uptown supporters of the Arts: 8th District Councilwoman Rae Gabelich, 7th Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga, BKBIA Director Blair Cohn (who will be showing his tattoos!), the Bixby Knolls mascot The Knolls Ranger, and Gallery Expo curator Doug Orr. Watch or participate anytime between 6pm and 10pm when these community figures turn into artists models. Musical entertainment and light refreshments will also be provided.

Michelle Mangione is back at the newly renovated Mirage Mediterranean Grill (539 E. Bixby Road) with her Singer/Songwriter Night. Kern Richards opens the night at 8:00 p.m. with his own style of country/blues/Americana. Suggested donation $6.

While you’re at The Mirage, say hello to Swoop and Peter from Swoop’s World Radio. The talk show team will broadcast live during Mangione’s show from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Browse the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit Produce for Victory, Posters from the American Home Front 1941 – 1945 in the Historical Society of Long Beach gallery (4260 Atlantic Avenue). The exhibit shows alongside the HSLB exhibit War, Work & Women: Long Beach in the 1940s and excerpts of David Kelley’s film, Long Days Working Hard; Long Beach During WWII.

Wearable Art at Bella Cosa: Bella Cosa (3803 Atlantic Ave) will showcase the beautiful watercolors of Heather Kent, who paints miniature works of art and turns them into necklaces.

Other art events along Atlantic during First Fridays will include: Car muscles flexed at Melinda McCoy’s Flowers and Georgie’s Place; a dance party; Macbeth; photography; paintings; shamanic healing; piano & cello; hair madness; blues, jazz, and ukettes; singer/songwriter showcase, El Velvis and Timstrument. For complete information regarding the different venues, check the First Fridays website

At 10:00, when the other businesses start to close, the after party is just beginning at Nino’s Italian Restaurant. Join the arts community for eats, drinks and merriment. Nino’s Art Bar will feature the oil paintings of Kathy Keheley, a romantic impressionist that creates landscapes, gardens and seascapes.

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