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6 Essential Tips for Visiting the First Friday Art Trail

Here in the “Hub City,” a night at First Friday Art Trail (FFAT) is filled with thousands of visitors every month looking for a unique cultural experience comprised of art, music, food and wine. Hosted in the Lubbock Cultural District, FFAT is an art lover’s dream and inspires the artistic eye for anyone doubting their creative nature. During FFAT, artists display their work and engage visitors in an array of art, color and culture, leaving them with a deeper appreciation for the arts.

FFAT is a free, self-guided art tour in the “Hub City,” centered around the Lubbock Cultural District in downtown on the first Friday of each month (6 to 9 p.m., rain or shine). Take advantage of the free trolleys that travel between LHUCA, the Buddy Holly Center, McPherson Cellars and GlassyAlley Art Studio. See an original Andy Warhol or Peter Herd (at the Charles Adams Gallery), get your hair French braided by students from the Wade Gordon Hairdressing Academy or check out what’s new at LHUCA. There’s a lot to see and do, so gather your friends for an unforgettable evening in Lubbock.

Check out these six tips to get the most out of Lubbock’s First Friday Art Trail:

  1. Arrive as close to 6 p.m. as possible. Three hours may sound like a long time, but trust me, you’ll find yourself wishing you had just a little bit longer to experience all the art trail has to offer. While the highest concentration of venues is in the Lubbock Cultural District, some locations are a trolley ride away so you’ll want to plan accordingly, which leads me to my next point.
  2. Plot out your trail in advance. You won’t have time to peruse every single gallery, talk to each artist, try a bite from every food truck and savor live music from the Reagor Dykes Stage. Needless to say, you want to plan ahead. Check out the venue list and map to see which exhibits interest you.
  3. Come hungry! Part of the FFAT experience is the food. Food trucks line the streets of LHUCA, attracting droves of hungry art lovers. From barbecue and street tacos to ice cream and snow cones, you’ll find something delicious to enjoy. For example, Crusty’s Wood Fired Pizza dishes out some of the best made-to-order pies in the “Hub City” that are served on the patio tables in front of The Charles Adams Studio Project. The individual sizes are quite generous, but they’re so good you won’t want to share. Wash it all down with your choice of beverage including soft drinks, beer or wine sold on-site.
  4. Show off your style. You’re going to spend a lot of time walking between art galleries, studios and venues, make sure to be comfortable in your choice of footwear. But, let your inner creative play a little; FFAT is the perfect opportunity to break all the rules and flaunt your fashion. No matter how creative you are, you won’t look out of place when you’re surrounded by artists who appreciate creative style.
  5. Download the FFAT app. The easy-to-use app lists all the venues with details on what you’ll see at each location that month. Every FFAT is different, and most locations will have new art exhibits and performances for you to admire. The map tab shows where the venues are in proximity to your current location, which can be a real lifesaver especially if you like to wander.
  6. Bring some extra cash with you. You never know when you might find a hand-thrown bowl, a set of etched wine glasses, a stained-glass masterpiece or a watercolor that you simply can’t resist. The art featured at FFAT comes from local talent and international icons, so the prices vary. Browsing through FFAT is a perfect opportunity to start or build onto your own private art collection—and an even better way to take home a one-of-a-kind piece of the “Hub City.”

As famed 19th-century French artist Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” So bring a friend and experience the beauty and curiosity of art here in Lubbock. For more art and cultural events in the “Hub City,” check out our website.

Planning to visit Lubbock’s FFAT? Share your photos with us on social media using #LiveLoveLubbock for a chance to be featured on our home page!