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ARTgenda: February

Lauren Henderson | Thursday, February 3, 2011

Looking for something to do off Notre Dame’s campus this weekend? This Friday, venture out into downtown South Bend for the city’s monthly event, First Friday. All year long, on the first Friday of every month, many of South Bend’s art galleries, businesses and restaurants stay open late to showcase art exhibitions and live performances. Various restaurants and stores also have menu and shopping specials.

February’s First Friday will take place Friday from 5 – 9 p.m. The theme for this month’s events is “Fit and Fabulous.” Restaurants will be offering prizes for customers who order healthy food options in order to encourage a healthier lifestyle in 2011. Certain restaurants will also be handing out Healthy Dining Passports. By dining at one of these participating restaurants throughout the rest of the month, you can earn stamps in your passport. These stamps translate into chances to win nutrition and other health-related prizes as well.

Galleries such as Artpost (216 West Madison Street) and CircaArts Gallery (528 East Colfax Avenue) will have special exhibitions open to the public. Artpost’s exhibit, “CUBA ¡PRESENTE!: Cuban posters from the collection of Gerrie Casey and Paul Mishler” will be on view until Feb. 27. This exhibition displays graphic Cuban posters from the second half of the 20th century. At CircaArts, you can watch local artists working live and in person as they create wintery scenes of local landscapes in pastel. The opening reception for this show, called “Let It Snow,” will take place Friday.

The South Bend Museum of Art (120 South St. Joseph Street) will be hosting an event called “Meet Me in the Gallery” from 5 – 8:30 p.m., where you can mingle and enjoy food and drink while listening to a live band. Over 450 artworks by junior and senior high school students selected to be included in the 2011 Scholastic Art Award exhibition will be on display in the gallery. Most of the First Friday events are free of charge, but there is a reduced cost of $5 for admission to “Meet Me in the Gallery” (free for museum members).

Additionally, Bombay International (119 South Michigan Street) will be hosting a tea tasting of various Chinese teas, and the Friends of the St. Joseph County Library will be hosting a book sale (333 South Michigan Street) from 4 – 8 p.m.

Catch live music at C.J.’s Pub (236 S. Michigan Street) or at Chicory Café (105 East Jefferson Boulevard), both from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

There will be many more events occurring around the city during this month’s First Friday than the ones listed here. Also, the downtown Transpo trolley route will be available for free during the events. To see a full listing of events, go to http://www.dtsbfirstfridays.com/events.htm