Kick off your holiday season with some downtown fun for this First Friday. There is art to see, treats to be enjoyed and merriment to be had.
Mark Engelien will be the featured artist at the Bakersfield Art Association Art Center. The retired architect’s work was last highlighted in March at Dagny’s Coffee Co. and a display that just wrapped up at Houchin Blood Bank.
While at Cal Poly SLO, Engelien’s studies included drawing, watercolor and ceramics, mediums that he continued to pursue as time allowed as a full-time architect and parent.
During the pandemic, Engelien focused on watercolor as his primary medium, adding portraits, wildlife and nature imagery alongside works on architectural subjects and urban spaces.
This show includes new pieces as well as giclée prints of commissions, gifts and some of the artist’s favorites that have not been offered for sale.
A reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the art center, 1607 19th St.
Over at Dagny’s Coffee Co., Charlotte White will have a show featuring fresh watercolor paintings created during the last two years in the studio as well as plein-air works.
After years sitting along Kern County roadsides with her plein-air painting set-up, the artist returned to the studio, shifting from the oils of her on-location work to watercolors.
Painting in the studio after years of plein-air painting was a major change for local artist, Charlotte White. No longer comfortable sitting along Kern County roadsides for 30 years, capturing the landscape and architecture of the region, resulted in a shift from painting with oils and moving into watercolors.
Along with creating, White stayed busy during the pandemic teaching drawing and painting online, taking on the challenge of learning to use Zoom and document camera technology. She taught high school students from Valley Oaks Charter School and adults with the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning.
White’s work will be on display through the month at the coffee shop, 1600 20th St.
Another downtown BAA partner is Lorene’s (1531 23rd St.), which is displaying work by Iva Fendrick including her depiction of Rankin Ranch.
Fendrick’s work will be on display at the restaurant through December.
Bakersfield Museum of Art
Along with extended hours on Friday, the Bakersfield Museum of Art will host a one-night-only Kern Voices exhibition featuring artwork designed by youth housed at Juvenile Hall. The display is a result of BMoA’s Museum on the Move outreach program offered at P.A.C.K. Juvenile Probation Institute.
Through the program, a BMoA educator gives an hourlong art lesson highlighting art concepts and historical artists that can inspire students to create their own work with art materials provided.
Guests can also take part in an all-ages watercolor project while visiting. They can also view the current exhibition, “On the Edge: Los Angeles Art, 1970s-1990s, from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection.”
The collection of more than 150 objects from nearly 70 artists presents an overview of the Los Angeles art scene’s early days and its landmark creators including Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, Lynda Benglis, Peter Alexander, Frank Gehry, Robert Graham and Ed Ruscha.
There will also be a raffle for a chance to win a family membership to the museum.
The museum, 1930 R St., is open until 8 p.m., with the Kern Voices reception taking place from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
In Your Wildest Dreams
In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques (2819 F St.), which is settling into its new home in the former Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts, will add another vendor to the mix on Friday with the opening of 502 Coffee Co.
Previously, the coffee business has done pop-ups, serving Guatemalan coffee and espresso-based drinks like the filthy chai latte and choco-latte milkshake.
The coffee shop will open at 10 a.m. inside the building.
Peruse the wares of the shop’s 60-plus vendors before meeting with Santa, who will be in attendance from 3 to 6 p.m.
Moderngigi Gallery (900 18th St.) is ready for First Friday with live music by Crimson Skye and an exhibition featuring seven local artists including painter Sonia Peterson (Sisu Art). The reception will be from 5 to 10 p.m.
The Hens Roost (1916 G St.) invites the community to come out in support of the Apple Core Project, which helps feed and aid the needy in the community. Dancing Tommy will provide live music starting at 7 p.m.
The American Legion Post 26 (2020 H St.) has brought back its First Friday Fish Fry, which kicks off when the canteen (bar) opens at 5:30 p.m. For $10, choose fish and chips or wings and chips, both served with coleslaw and iced tea or water. Enjoy both wings and fish for $15. Reservations are recommended by calling 661-324-9453.
BottleShock Wine + Brew (1002 19th St., Suite C) will hold a Christmas Party so epic it will be held on two consecutive nights. Venessa and Silo will provide live music from 7 to 9 p.m. and Zepeda’s Stone Fire Pizza will be slinging pizzas.
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.