The fun part about the monthly first Friday events in Tehachapi is you only need to park once, and then everything is within walking distance. One can dine at any one of a half-dozen restaurants or nearby sports bar, and then enjoy a wonderful evening of Friday night entertainment at the nearby art galleries, antique stores, vintage furniture stores, live theater, multiplex movie theater or nearby city museum. Then you can finish off the evening listening to the live music performed at Fiddlers Crossing just a block away.
Gallery 'N Gifts, Tehachapi's longest-running artists co-operative art gallery, was featuring the artwork of local artist Larry McClain.
Fellow artist and spokesperson for the gallery Michelle Miller said, "Larry is our resident woodcarver artist. His work is often based on his love of books with themes set in science fiction.”
McClain is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and test pilot. He and his wife, Theresa, live on a large piece of land in the Tehachapi area where McClain has his large, well-stocked wood working studio.
In addition to McClain's work, visitors enjoyed walking through the beautifully displayed artwork of some other 35 local artists displaying their varied styles and disciplines. Warmly hosted by the gallery's fellow artists, visiting patrons were seen with snacks in hand, and the occasional wine glass.
Over at “Mel's Place,” otherwise known as Tehachapi Treasure Trove, their First Friday contribution featured the works of many varied and multidisciplined artists. Visitors could wander through the exhibits, eat snacks and drink wine, while listing to music performed by local clarinet player and orchestra member Art Larson. Owner Mel White had many long- time patrons, local artists and art teachers on hand to explain and promote local art.
Continuing the First Friday activities, walking up Green Street just a block or so, is the Tehachapi Museum and Errea House. They featured a beautiful display of Pez candy dispensers on loan by collector and museum member Harold Cox.
A separate, loaned display of beautifully handmade pottery of Mata Ortiz was available to view and be enjoyed by visitors.
Rounding out the evening, visitors enjoyed the mellow sounds of the band Out of the Blue at nearby Fiddlers Crossing. Popular tunes, from a mix of folk, old-time bluegrass, country, a little jazz and good old rock and roll could be enjoyed. Get to this venue a little early if you want a seat; it's a popular stop along the First Friday events walk.