I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.
Flagstaff Loves Art
Beginning around 6:30 in the evening on the first Friday of each month, downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, bustles with activity, inside and out, even during the coldest months.
On this special night twelve times per year, galleries, restaurants and other businesses displaying artwork of all types -- and also some that don't -- keep their doors open late for the community party.
Here, let me take you on a Flagstaff ArtWalk tour....
The Flagstaff ArtWalk Map: A new map is produced for each First Friday.
The above map is available for free download at FlagstaffArtWalk.com.
2016 Flagstaff First Friday ArtWalk dates at a glance:
- January 1
- February 5
- March 4
- April 1
- May 6
- June 3
- July 1
- August 5
- September 2
- October 7
- November 4
- December 2
And, yes, those are all Fridays!
49 galleries and other venues participated in the June First Friday ArtWalk, all within walking distance of one another in downtown Flagstaff. Many of these venues serve free hors d'oeuvres during the event.
Enjoy Special Events, Music and Viewings During ArtWalk
On this past First Friday in Flagstaff, my husband and I parked on the outskirts of downtown and headed for Heritage Square, which is usually where we begin our art walks (though we enjoyed the nice walk from our car to the square, too).
At this time of year (October), the free Friday Movies on the Square, preceded by a concert, are over for the season, but there was still something to do there: Lowell Observatory had a telescope set up for viewing the night sky and a staff member there to explain what we were seeing.
As we continued our wanderings, we could hear live music coming from all directions.
An instrumental duet was playing inside West of the Moon Gallery on Aspen Street.
Musicians were found on streets throughout downtown, including this guitarist and violinist on Leroux Street.
During the previous ArtWalk, a rockin' percussion group drew a large crowd and inspired lots of dancing.
A Jazz trio in the window stage entertained the crowd at Grandon Gallery.
More music during First Friday ArtWalk
The music and crowds didn't seem to bother this owl from the Flagstaff Arboretum, whose handler talked about the amazing bird.
See Works By Locally Known And World-Renowned Artists
Flagstaff's ArtWalk features all types of mediums -- from paintings and sculpture to ceramics and textiles, photography, jewelry, stained glass and metalwork -- by artists from here and beyond.
The Artists Gallery cooperative on San Francisco Street features works by more than 40 local artists and is always packed on ArtWalk night. On these First Fridays, the gallery hosts a reception for the Artists of the Month.
West of the Moon Gallery on Aspen Street may be small, but they feature more than 50 talented artists.
Other Flagstaff galleries you won't want to miss are:
- Beaver Street Gallery on the south side of the railroad tracks on--you guessed it!--Beaver Street, featuring contemporary exhibitions by artists from the U.S. and abroad
- Arizona Handmade Gallery on N. San Francisco Street, featuring a variety of media, including numerous pieces from the Fire on the Mountain Hand Blown Glass Studio
- The Shane Knight Gallery featuring traditional darkroom photography of western horses and landscapes
Famous photographer Gary Ladd signed his books at the Arizona Handmade Gallery.
Some of Gary Ladd's exquisite photos and beautiful Fire On The Mountain glass pieces at the Arizona Handmade Gallery
The first opening of the traveling Twitter Art Exhibition was a great success at Grandon Gallery (which is now closed).
Original paintings by Navajo artist Shonto Begay.
Meet Some Of The Local Artists
We really liked the encaustic paintings (or hot wax paintings) at the Showspace Gallery, like the one pictured here. And meeting the artists who display their work there made the experience even better.
In fact, you'll often find artists hanging out near their works on First Fridays, more than happy to answer questions and explain their techniques, philosophies and inspirations.
Sculptor Eric Wilson explains his inspiration for a piece to visitors at the Showspace Gallery.
The artist explains his painting
You'll always find artists in the house at the Artists Gallery coalition, where they man the store.
Muralist Joe Cornelius in front of (or hanging on, rather) his work at "Local Color" in downtown Flagstaff
To see a directory of participating galleries and businesses for the next Flagstaff First Friday ArtWalk, visit: FlagstaffArtWalk.com
There's a link for venues to sign up to be included on the map.
Flagstaff Artist Websites
This is, by far, only a partial list. If you have or know of a Flagstaff artist website that's not listed here, leave me a message with the URL in the guestbook below, and I'll add it.
- Larisa Aukon
Colorful florals, landscapes and plein air paintings
- Dee Brewer
Collage, mixed media, pastels
- Alan Petersen
Paintings and mixed media
- Jim Cole
Landscape photographs of the western and southwestern United States
- Bruce Horn
Paintings, prints, drawings
- Shonto Begay
Exquisite paintings with Native American and southwestern themes
- Darcy Falk
- Joe Sorren
Surrealist paintings, portraits and prints
- Joe Cornelius
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Deb Kingsbury
Do You Like To Art Walk?
Nancy Johnson from Mesa, Arizona on June 03, 2012:
My significant other is an artist in the Phoenix area and we have been doing the Scottsdale, Chandler and Mesa Artwalks this past year. We love them, meet lots of nice people and connect with fellow artists. I wasn't aware of the one in Flagstaff, so maybe we will come up and see you there!
JoshK47 on June 26, 2011:
I love art walks and the like - always great to see lots of people excited about art, whether it be street performers or the latest additions to a gallery. Great lens!
hlkljgk from Western Mass on September 12, 2010:
i sure do. brattleboro, vt has a first friday art walk. it's pretty cool. :)
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on December 09, 2009:
Thanks for the evening in Flagstaff.
HorseAndPony LM on December 05, 2009:
I love to art walk. I also love the local artist thing. Since we moved to CO it has become an obsession.
Delia on October 26, 2009:
I got to visit Flagstaff this summer and want to move there...that is my dream as an artist...well I can dream...nice lens...5*
strayspay on October 18, 2009:
Flagstaff is definitely on my want-to-visit list now! Great pictures - they gave me a virtual tour!
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 11, 2009:
This looks like it would be a very enjoyable adventure!
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 08, 2009:
Flagstaff First Friday Art Walk sounds like a great event. Lensrolling to Festivals, Fairs, and Special Events Lens where I hope you will add this to the plexo. Blessed!
myraggededge on October 08, 2009:
I love this! It so made me want to be there - what a buzz!
SpellOutloud on October 07, 2009:
I love how you took us on the tour with you by including so many photos. Wonderful lens.
amy1980 on October 07, 2009:
Next time I am near Flagstaff, I will definitely check this out. It's a great little town, and this just adds to the charm.