Don't miss Gallery 'N' Gifts' fascinating First Friday for July with artist Jerry Mathes II.

Mathes is an award-winning author and photographer, a book critic for Orion: People and Nature, and librettist. Two of his four books are "Shipwrecks and Other Stories," which was awarded an honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival; and a memoir, "Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire," awarded the North American Book Prize for Memoirs and about his experiences fighting wildfire throughout the American West, including four years on an elite helicopter rappel crew and 10 years as a crew boss and an incident commander.

Mathes had to give up writing to be a single dad to two girls, so he took a job in an oilfield north of Bakersfield. He has published poems, essays, short stories, photographs and has produced three short films, Among his works, his novella, "Still Life," won the Meadow Prize and his short story, "Totality," won the 2017 Narrative Fall Story Contest. He is a Jack Kent Scholar alumnus.

Mathes will do poetry readings for the July 5 First Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Come join us for a fabulous evening.

Michelle Miller writes publicity for Gallery 'N' Gifts Fine Arts Room.