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Friday, Oct 05 2012 11:16 AM

First Friday Fall Art Walk downtown set for tonight

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Artist Debi Hartman, known by most as Sparks, will be featured as the guest artist for First Friday Oct.5 at Gallery ‘N’ Gifts.

Tonight's First Friday Art Walk, downtown, offers an evening of festivities including music, refreshments and a chance to meet artists at local galleries and shops. Enjoy a stroll in the autumn air, with friends, neighbors and tasty treats along the way.

Participating venues will be open 5 to 8 p.m.

The Tehachapi Community Congregational Church at 100 E. "E" St., will participate in the First Friday event, tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. by sponsoring a “Drop-In and Decorate” party. Participants will decorate cookies which will be given to a community agency, meeting the needs for food or shelter.

The concept was founded by food blogger Lydia Walshin who hosts “Drop-In and Decorate” events around the world. The purpose is to build bridges of caring and respect between groups within the community and to offer a more personal way for people to make a difference.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Friendship Hall and take part in the event from 5 to 8 p.m. The cookies will be baked and ready to decorate. Fair Trade coffee, tea, and chocolate will be served. This product is the church's way to assist small farmers in the developing world. For more information call 822-4443.

Gallery ‘N Gifts is hosting an exciting local artist this month. Debi Hartman who is better known by the nickname Sparks, aka the Grunge Hobbit, for First Friday and the month of October. Sparks is an art lover turned artist influenced by the many talented artists friends she surrounds herself with in Tehachapi. She paints from the images she creates in her mind or from dreams in which images come to her. The visions can be purely abstract or have shape and often come to life in human form. Rarely detailed or precise — and often filled with intense emotion — her paintings are created quickly and with passion.

In her first year of painting (2009), Sparks embarked on an intense and prolific period of self-education and experimentation in both oil and acrylic paints. Some of her favorite paintings were created using techniques that cede some of the control to the medium — using alcohol, canned air, or simply tilting the canvas and letting the paint go where it will. Other favorites involve very deliberate techniques that create interesting textures with fingers, palette knife and sand from her backyard.

"I love the smell and feel of paint on canvas, it's all about having fun," said Sparks.

Refreshments will be served throughout the evening. Gallery ‘N Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Next door at Oak Tree Art, Antiques, Etc. refreshments will be served along with hospitality and live music from 5 to 8 p.m. Oak Tree is located at 102 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Also open during First Friday is the Tehachapi Museum, 310 S. Green St., a short walk from Tehachapi Blvd. The museum will serve wine and appetizers during the evening festivities. The display for Oct. 5 and continuing through out the month, harkens back to a refined era in American history when entertaining in a formal manner was in order. Beverage sets from local collectors will be on display and include coffee, tea, chocolate and cordial sets. Fall and winter hats from the past will be on display as will the quilt and bedding display.

Tehachapi Treasure Trove, the newest addition to the monthly First Friday art walk in downtown Tehachapi, will host a double celebration on Oct. 5. with an official grand opening ceremony, kicking off with a ribbon cutting ceremony (thanks to the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce) and champagne toasting at 3:30 p.m. The grand opening will end around 5 p.m., just in time to start the evening’s Fun Fest, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Festivities at the shop will also feature live music, art demonstrations and a mini treasure hunt. The shop plans to have the second classroom unpacked and set and ready for guests, with more to see and do (and more space in which to share a smile and good conversation with friends). Refreshments will be offered throughout the afternoon and evening.

Tehachapi Treasure Trove is located at 116 E. Tehachapi Blvd.

The Back Street Gallery is hosting Lyn Bennet on Friday, Oct. 5 as the featured artist for the month. Bennet has been a resident of Tehachapi since 1992 with her husband and three children. She has been painting murals since 1998 and has worked under master muralist Art Mortimer.

She designed and painted the Blacksmith Mural on Curry Street, the Dye Natatorium mural, the Jacobsen Junior High band room mural and the Storefront Mural and was involved in painting the Apple Shed Mural-in-a-Day, the 100 Year Anniversary Tehachapi Mural-in-a-Day, and the Monolith Mural, as well as the Cummings Valley Cougar Mural.

The gallery be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 and will serve fresh cookies and hot tea. Live music by “Fiddlin’ Red Hattie” and her friends, as well as country guitarist Ron Blair, will provide entertainment for the evening. Guests can view and purchase Bennet’s art work through the month of October. Operated by the Tehachapi Performing Arts Center Foundation, it is located at 106 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Picture Perfect and Stamps of Approval welcomes a monthly gathering for fiber artists on First Friday, Oct. 5., from 5 to 8 p.m. If you enjoy knitting, crochet and some other type of needlework can and share your work with others. Bring a project and enjoy a pleasant evening. The shop is located at 112 E. Tehachapi Blvd.

Fiddlers Crossing is hosting an open house on Friday, Oct. 5, at. 7 p.m. with live music and refreshments. Fiddlers Crossing is located at 206 E. “F” St.

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