First Friday in November Mixes Death and Color
First Fridays in downtown Aurora is alive and kicking even though November’s event brings death into the picture when the ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse celebrates Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The ArtBar will feature works from about a dozen local artists with a Day of the Dead theme. The celebration isn’t just about death, however. Day of the Dead honors those who have died and incorporates bright colors, La Catrina skulls, ofrendas (or alters), and other traditions from the Mexican celebration. The ArtBar is open from 6 p.m. to midnight in the Roundhouse’s tavern.
Venture out of the ArtBar and over to If These Walls Could Talk for another celebration – one of color as Maureen Gasek is the featured artist at the frame shop and art gallery. The gallery night at If These Walls Could Talk that coincides with First Fridays in downtown Aurora is already a popular event since owners Jennifer Rauch and Tim Frederick started it after opening last spring. Aside from art, they’ve brought in a DJ, a guitarist and lots of good food and drink. If These Walls Could Talk at 32 S. Stolp Ave. hosts gallery night from 7 to 11 p.m.
While making your way to VARA Design, make sure to stop and admire the Vacant Window Project display in the Silverplate Building at the northeast corner of Stolp and Downer. The Day of the Dead window display honors a dozen who impacted downtown Aurora and died within recent years.
At VARA Studio, 13 W. Downer, artist Amanda Voltz will have her abstract works on display. VARA Studio, part of VARA Design, is run by designers Megan Paul and Dana Lundin. The studio brings contemporary artworks to downtown Aurora, along with a more formal art opening filled with bite-sized snacks and glasses filled with something delicious.
One last stop on the First Friday tour brings the artistic talents of local artist Don Picton to the Yetee Gallery, 110 Cross St. at River Street. Picton’s unique style and flare for odd, slightly twisted pop culture is a hit with his legion of fans. Yetee owner Mike Mancuso is opening up the entire Yetee Gallery for the one-man show from 7 to 11 p.m.
Along with all of the art venues, be sure to visit the many restaurants in downtown Aurora. Need suggestions? Visit our business directory.