An eclectic night of art and culture

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SoFA district lights up with South First Fridays
Text: Jamie Ramirez / Images: Basil Sar

South First Fridays is a self-guided art walk through the South First Area (SoFA) district of downtown San Jose where visitors can walk through museums, galleries, cafés and participating restaurants to see featured performances and exhibits.

The event, which is held every first Friday of the month from 7 to 11 p.m., is geared toward art lovers and fans of nightlife in the city.

The art walk takes place between San Carlos and East Reed streets where the sidewalks are lit up with strings of white lights, bringing a softness to downtown and setting the ambiance for a night of art and entertainment.

Attendees can have dinner from various food trucks in the SoFA district and grab a drink before hitting the town to gaze at art in local galleries and enjoy live musical performances for free.

Brittney Cathey-Adams, a third year photography student in the master of fine arts program at SJSU, said she’s from a small town in Humboldt where the art community is rich and she was worried about finding that in San Jose.

“I’ve been to First Fridays and I always have a great time visiting MACLA and ICA and overall just getting to visit many spaces to see the (art) community that does exist in a larger city,” Cathey-Adams said.

The MACLA is the Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana Gallery and ICA is the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, both located on the 500 block of South First Street.

Other galleries and stores that actively participate in South First Fridays include Phantom Galleries, Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery, Psycho Donuts, Works San Jose and ZERO1 Garage among many others.

Psycho Donuts, a San Jose State student favorite, feature artwork that is hand-selected by a curator. The art, which hangs on the walls of the store, is painted with dark themes and is ready for purchase during South First Fridays.

Check out South First Fridays this Friday, Oct. 4 from 7 to 11 p.m.

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