Omaha doesn't have beachfronts, mountains, or a professional sports team, but we do have some of the U.S. of A.'s most gifted artists. And if that's news to you, then I'd encourage you to venture out of your homes and into the wonderful world of Omaha's First Friday art events, which will take place, appropriately, this Friday, July 5.
Traditional and not-so traditional galleries across the city host exhibit openings each month on the first Friday. They open their doors and welcome gawkers – it's one of those times when it's polite to stare. Two of the biggest First Friday events – ones where you can get a broad sampling of Omaha-brewed art – is in the Old Market and Benson where fresh art flows thick within the art districts. In either locale you can walk a couple of blocks and see enough visual candy to shoot your blood sugar levels off the charts.
And these aren't your typical wine-and-cheese openings – although you can certainly find those, too – these are openings with energy, especially in Benson where the Maple Street corridor is full of live music, food, and of course, new art on display. (The team at the Sweatshop Gallery in Benson is particularly known for its clever First Friday openings.)
Plus, you know what's really cool about these First Friday art events? They're free. The artists just want eyeballs. They want their work to be seen, and if you go, you will be amazed at what you see. Omaha artists outdo themselves each and every month. Their creations are pro, people. Pro.