First Friday Art Trail
At the beginning of every month, the lively art community of Lubbock is celebrated with the First Friday Art Trail (FFAT). This unique cultural experience is a blend of the Hub City’s best art, music, food and drink. The 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. Whether you are an art connoisseur or have a newfound love of the arts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
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 Tornado Gallery. Visitors can gallery hop with the free trolley service and see all the different exhibit features around town and are free to come and go as they please. Those over 21 can marvel in Lubbock’s local talent as they sip on a glass of Texas High Plains wine. Also, be sure to come hungry as the town’s favorite food trucks will be ready to take your order.
At the FFAT, visitors are offered an experience that surpasses perusing art. At many exhibits, the artist is ready to engage with the community. This provides a unique opportunity to discuss with the artist about their works and artistic process. Often, artists have live art to interact with as well. With live music featuring local artists, visitors can dance the night away!
Check out these six tips to get the most out of Lubbock’s First Friday Art Trail:
- 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.
- 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 the live music. Needless to say, you want to plan ahead. Check out the venue list and map to see which exhibits interest you.
- Come hungry! Part of the FFAT experience is the food. Food trucks line the streets of LHUCA, attracting a crowd of hungry art lovers. From barbecue and street tacos to ice cream and snow cones, you’ll find something delicious to enjoy. Wash it all down with your choice of beverage including soft drinks, beer or wine sold on-site.
- 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 creativity shine. 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 unique style.
- 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.
- 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.”
The FFAT showcases a variety of artistic mediums. From outdoor murals to metal works and traditional oil paintings, First Friday is a feast for the eye. Not to mention, the countless photo-ops around the Cultural Art District perfect for the Instagram feed. Share your FFAT experience with us using #LiveLoveLubbock! and tag us @visit_lubbock!
This Lubbock staple is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. With so many components rolled into one event, the only way to truly understand the diversity of the FFAT is by experiencing it yourself.