Richmond’s First Friday in October is far more than just an entry in the social calendar; it’s an event that encapsulates the very ethos of the city. As the colors of fall unfurl across Virginia’s capital, Broad Street turns into a swirling kaleidoscope of arts, culture, and community spirit. It’s a monthly tradition, yes, but October’s First Friday has its own special magic: a harmonious blend of autumnal vibes and pre-Halloween excitement that sets it apart. At Gallery 5, the long-awaited return of the Carnival of 5 Fires promises a spectacle of underground fire performances that are as mesmerizing as they are daring. In contrast, RVA Fashion Week brings a different kind of fire, showcasing fashion-forward designs in an event that is a must-see for anyone with an eye for style.
At the Institute of Contemporary Art, the promise of a night filled with comedy, music, and burlesque challenges conventional art norms, while the Quirk Gallery offers a contemplative experience with its evocative exhibits. The Richmond Moon Market, a haven for those interested in crafts and wellness, adds another layer to the night’s offerings, featuring everything from plants and flowers to hand-crafted jewelry. Whether you’re new to Richmond or a longtime resident, First Friday provides an unmissable opportunity to experience the heart and soul of the city.
CARNIVAL OF 5 FIRES
Friday, October 6th, 2023: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
200 West Marshall Street Richmond, VA, 23220
Once again Gallery 5 is bringing the heat and putting on a spectacle worthy of your viewership. For years this sacred space has been the platform for which the underground fire performers of Richmond to put on high profile and high quality shows for the public. Last year, however, due to a number of compounding issues, there was no fire at the Carnival of 5 Fires, and hasn’t been since 2019. Well get ready for an unforgettable evening of the one of a kind performances you can only catch at this incredible venue, along with some music on the stage inside for those who want to catch a few tunes while you’re down in Jackson Ward.
Richmond Moon Market will be joining in the fun with 50+ vendors!
The Richmond Moon Market is a curated craft and wellness market bringing together central Virginia’s weirdest, wildest and most wonderful artists, healers and craft persons in one place for events featuring live music, food, workshops, and more. We feature diverse local vendors of plants and flowers, fortune tellers, jewelry, candles, clothing, art, crystals, magical supplies, ceramics, vintage gear, housewares, accessories, hand made botanical products, custom skincare blends and more.
PLF (Party Liberation Foundation) Pyro Circus returns to Co5F for the first time since 2019 to showcase magnificent fire performances, DJs, interactive installations, and more surprises!
Come on down and join us in the Richmond Arts District at that ol’ firehouse -turned- non-profit art/music/performance venue (AKA G5) from 5pm-11pm as we heat up the evening with all the visual and performing art, live music, DJs, fire performances, belly dance, a variety show, circus arts, tarot readings, vendors, specialty acts, and more!
As always with Co5F, we view this Richmond tradition as the kickoff event for the Spooky Season AND October FF is the 23rd Anniversary of First Fridays in the Arts District!
We strongly encourage everyone to dress up in whatever creative, festive attire that you so desire!
STABLE CONTEMPLATIONS by Pam Black
FLOWERS by Chad Eating
September 14th – November 11th
207 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
Quirk has decided to switch up their exhibition for this First Friday in October, and are now featuring the works of Pam Black. This series entitled STABLE CONTEMPLATIONS showcases numerous ghostly portraits and landscapes of pan pastel or charcoal depicting the rural landscape that Black often finds herself walking through. This exhibition opened earlier this month, but will go through into November 11th in case you can’t catch it this time around.
In the side gallery this time around viewers will be able to see the work of New Hampshire artist Chad Etting. His series entitled FLOWERS fittingly is a showcase seems an almost parody of the old-as-time practice of using flowers as subjects for artwork. This too will be going through November 11th, so you will have to time to catch it if you can’t this friday, however what could be a better time to view this slice of provencia in Downtown Richmond.
Twenty years ago, I embarked on the journey of the horse. Through painting, drawing and writing, I investigated a world unknown to me. I named this creative process Stable Contemplations. My initial studies began with a broad view of the rural landscape through which I mindfully walked each day. Barns, fences, pastures with herds of horses and cows filled my visual field. I saw fluidity between them. As I painted, animals dissolved into architecture, architecture dissolved into ground.
Presently, my attention has widened to encompass the individuals who inhabit this same landscape. I am a part of a community, a family of sorts, whose common love of horses and agriculture puts us in daily contact. Drawing inspiration from what is close and personal, I note the gestures and postures that form the silhouettes with which I have become routinely familiar.
Flowers have been painted for many years by many artists in many styles. This show is my take on flower painting. I am interested in presenting rural and provincial references and themes in the contemporary, urban space of an art gallery. Exploring the subject matter of flowers allowed for this.
RVA Fashion Week
FIRST FRIDAY CULTURAL ART EXPERIENCE
Friday, October 6th, 2023: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
219 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219
What better way to embrace jacket season than with RVA Fashion Week? This Friday evening at the Deco Building RVA Fashion Week will be hosting the First Friday Cultural Experience, and if you care about fashion you absolutely can not miss this event. Featuring debuts and tons of artists and collaborations, this will be the host spot for all clothes and fashion lovers for this month’s showcase of culture on Broad St. This is a ticketed event, so make sure to go HERE and get your tickets.
It wouldn’t be a First Friday without fashion, art, vendors, and shopping! And where better to host an event than in the heart of Richmond’s historic Art District at the 1920’s landmark–the Deco building. Filling this vibrant, breath-taking space with an exclusive fashion showcase including MOXEY, DIMEZ, ETERNAL STYLE and NIQUELLE that you don’t want to miss! The event will just be full of surprises. This collaboration between fashion designers, small businesses, prominent artists, and RVA Fashion Week will be a night to remember.
Institute of Contemporary Art
MORGAN BASSICHIS AND FRIENDS: AN EVENING OF COMEDY, MUSIC, AND BURLESQUE
Friday, October 6th, 2023: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
In case you’ve ever seen that giant building on the corner of Belvedere and Broad, but have never been inside, you should know that it’s the Institute of Contemporary Art, and you should absolutely check out what’s going on inside this Friday. All evening the artist Morgan Bassichis, who currently has an exhibition at the ICU entitled More Little Diaries, will be putting on a show with a whole slew of performers that range from comedy to burlesque. A real stacked night full of art of every kind, it’s a can’t miss feature of this First Friday in Richmond’s vibrant Art District.
Join us for an evening of comedy hosted by exhibiting artist Morgan Basschis. Basschis will facilitate an evening with comedians and performance artists River L. Ramirez, Una Osato and Michi Osato. The evening will focus on politics, education, absurdity, sex, and failure.
* Disclaimer: Adult content, must be 18+ to attend.
Friday, October 6th, 2023: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
8 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219
Though usually by appointment only, Antennae is opening its doors for a showcase of the artist that it currently has on display. Founded by Todd Hale this gallery features a wider variety of artists from every walk of life. These include for the showing this Friday: John Narron, Stefan Van Vouts, Tyler Thomas, Titus Marques, and Casey Criddle. Check out the full list of artists at this show HERE.
Charged Up Flagship store
Friday, October 6th: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
106 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
The artist Chr!s Visions, who I spoke to extensively at the RVA Street Art Festival last year, will be displaying a huge variety of his work at the Charged Up Flagship store this Friday for any fans of his extensive collection of work, or for anyone just interested in checking out an incredible local artist. Go HERE for a profile on Visions, and head down to 106 W Broad St this Friday for a chance to meet the man responsible for some incredible mural work.
Works by Tallestfriend
Friday, October 6th: 6:30 pm
414 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
Perhaps one of the most unique events happening down in the Art District this Friday will be the self-identified “underground, queer art gallery” popping up at Body Politic for the evening. Featuring works by the artist Tallestfriend whose cartoony queer artwork makes use of vibrant colors, and mostly features portraits of pop culture figures or queer explorations of the human body. By all means check out this interesting underground show when you get the chance.
Top photo courtesy of Pam Black and Chad Etting by way of Quirk Gallery