Third Friday Durham is a great time to explore Durham's art scene. This monthly walkable arts event features Durham galleries and studios that open their doors to the public for special exhibits, openings, and parties. You can explore pieces from new artists and buy one of their works to take home with you.
Many of the Third Friday venues offer complimentary snacks and beverages to enjoy while you appreciate the art and mingle with the artists. In addition, the event now features local musicians busking around street corners near many of the different venues.
Tess Mangum Ocaña of Sonic Pie Productions, who is helping organize the event, describes the Third Friday experience: "The sound of live music coming in from around a corner or down a street lures pedestrians, and before they know it, they've discovered a new gallery or shop they didn't know was there."
Combined, it all adds up to one big arts party you won't want to miss.
Participating venues can change from month to month, but below are a few of the regular contributors to demonstrate the variety of establishments and experiences you will find:
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is one of the anchors in Durham's art scene, boasting an extensive permanent collection, as well as revolving exhibits from around the world. The 21c Museum Hotel displays a selection of modern and contemporary works that are free to view and open to the public.
Third Friday offers the best chance to see new works from Durham's impressive cadre of local artists. The Durham Arts Council showcases works in its galleries, and you can find interesting exhibits at the Carrack Modern Art, Pleiades, SPECTRE Arts, the Bull City Arts Collaborative, and many more.
You can also explore local art right where it's made at some of the studios that open for Third Friday events. Liberty Arts and Golden Belt feature artists working in a number of mediums, including sculpture, metalwork, and painting. Claymakers is a pottery studio complete with a small gallery where you can explore ceramic art, or sign up for a class.
Get inspired by the Third Friday organizations that encourage your own artistic efforts! Bull City Craft will keep you supplied with everything you need, Scrap Exchange focuses on creative reuse with an impressive array of materials and classes to spark your imagination, and Happymess Art Studios offers a variety of classes.
You can buy works from almost every place on this list, but there are a few that make a point of selling hand-crafted gifts. Stop by Exotique and The Makery at Mercury Studio to find goods from local craftspeople and artists that make for perfect gifts.
Once you start experiencing Durham's arts scene, you won't want to stop. Use the map below or the Third Friday website to plan out your night and find all participating organizations.
Click the image below to enlarge the map: