Local art spaces open for extended hours on first Fridays of the month in an effort to increase community engagement 

Interior of the Art Blocks house in Marfa, Texas, 109 W San Antonio St. Courtesy of Art Blocks.

MARFA — A number of local galleries and arts spaces are opening their doors for extended hours from 4 to 6 p.m. the first Friday of each month in order to increase patronage and encourage locals and visitors to further engage with the Marfa arts community. 

Participating entities include Art Blocks — which launched the “First Fridays” initiative this May — Desert Veil, Esperanza Vintage & Art, Garza Marfa, Jeff Marfa, LTK Enterprises, Marfa Film Shop, Marfa Open, Veldt Gallery and RULE Gallery. It is free to attend and participate in First Fridays and the dates remaining for 2022 are August 5, September 2, October 7, November 4 and December 2. 

Art Blocks’ Heather LaFortune said she wanted to create a regular event like an art walk to uplift Marfa’s galleries and arts spaces, hoping the casual, drop-in environment will open up opportunities for greater conversation between gallerists, business owners and visitors. 

In addition to being available for extended hours to answer questions and chat with gallery goers, LaFortune has been offering free beer and wine on First Fridays and giving tours of the Art Blocks space. She plans to offer more programming in conjunction with First Fridays in the future. 

For the upcoming First Friday on August 5, Veldt Gallery will offer refreshments and artist LéAna Clifton will be present. RULE Gallery will host an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. with current artist in residence James William Murray. The informal presentation will touch on various aspects of his work, which spans painting, sculpture and photography. 

Desert Veil and Jeff Marfa will participate in the First Friday program each month with the courtyard — Para Llevar’s cactus garden — open to the public. Bar Tamar will also be open and will be serving cocktails in the courtyard. Music and other offerings will be announced closer to each date. LTK Enterprises has been participating in First Fridays, but is currently on a summer hiatus while they refresh their programming and reinstall works. 

LaFortune said she is hoping First Fridays continue to grow and more businesses and galleries will opt to participate. 

For more information, visit the galleries on Instagram @desertveilmarfa@esperanzavintagemarfa, @garzamarfa, @jeffmarfa, @ltkenterprises, @marfafilmshop, @marfaopen, @rulegallery, @artblocks_io