First Friday kicks off 2022 celebration of arts in Vancouver

Every first Friday of the month will spotlight an artist while several galleries will be open late to host art lovers



The first First Friday of 2022 brought a number of art lovers to downtown Vancouver, a celebration of a number of styles.

Several galleries and studios were open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, welcoming guests with treats and drinks, while promoting local artists. Called an Art Walk, more than a dozen businesses were scheduled to participate, all within walking distance downtown.

First Friday, which occurs every first Friday of the month, is presented by Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

Bill Leigh, who lives in Felida, was in the spotlight at the Art at the Cave Gallery as an Artist in Residence exhibit: Waste Connections of Washington (www.wasteconnections.com) and Clark County Health present “Trash to Treasure.”

Artist Bill Leigh. Photo by Paul Valencia
Artist Bill Leigh. Photo by Paul Valencia

The exhibit, which will be on display at the gallery through Jan. 29, features sculptures created by Leigh from unwanted objects. Each piece of artwork consists of at least 75 percent of recycled materials.

“A broken shovel. A rake,” Leigh said Friday night. 

Anything he can find that might be on the way to a landfill could, instead, be turned into art. 

“I don’t have an idea I sketch out on paper,” Leigh said.

Instead, he might see someone’s trash and see something beautiful. Other times, he takes materials home and then an idea hits him.

“Nobody wants to see it buried,” Leigh said.

He said he was thrilled to be part of First Friday. While First Friday might be more popular in the warmer months, it is important to showcase the arts all year.

The next First Friday will be Feb. 4.

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Rick Jones
Rick Jones
10 months ago

First Fridays are always a pleasure and Vancouver owes the private galleries a load of thanks for continuing to host this event. What Vancouver and Clark Count really need is a permanent arts and cultural center to house the numerous arts groups in southwest Washington. Communities with a tenth of the population of Clark County have wonderful facilities that garner tremendous support from their community, schools, local governments, and galleries. Southwest Washington is one of the few major metropolitan areas without such an arts center. It’s time the residents of this area have a dedicated and suitable facility for the visual arts.

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