The smells of the different food trucks linger across the outdoor area where the sound of live music and talking fills one's ears. People are walking through the exhibits gazing at the pieces and perusing small business pop-ups set up along the trail. This is Lubbock’s First Friday Art Trail.
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts hosted the First Friday Art Trail from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. The art trail is a self-guided public art event located in the Lubbock Cultural District with various art exhibits, food trucks, vendors and live music.
School of art graduate student Hurieh Heravi will graduate in May, so she displayed her final show, “Between Despair and Hope,” for the fulfillment of her master's degree. Heravi received her undergraduate degree in fine arts in Iran, where she is originally from.
Heravi applied to get the space at the LHUCA because she said the gallery was perfect for her pieces. Her work will be displayed until April 20.
“I think that this is very exciting and a great opportunity to see how people interact with my pieces and how they respond to them,” Heravi said. “So far I’m happy because people love my work.”
Heravi said she pursued a master's degree at Tech because her friend was a graduate candidate and spoke highly of the School of Art, so Heravi became interested. She thinks the program is fascinating and there are great professors.
In Heravi’s pieces, she uses black fabric material and beads to display her message of despair and hope in humans. She uses clothing and fabric because of how close they are to the human body.
“(My pieces) are about the feelings a person has in a totalitarian system, where you feel like you are buried under a great amount of despair which you are struggling to find a little bit of peace,” Heravi said. “By doing this, I am talking about those people, those feelings, those conflicts in those types of societies.”
Heravi said she uses pops of colored beads or material in front of plain black to symbolize natural elements like water, light and fire.
“In one piece there are red beads, so I am referring to it a little there. It is a huge hope that without it we wouldn’t survive,” Heravi said. ‘Without water, we wouldn’t survive. To me it’s just hope. Water for me is the reference to people that still have hope in them. I know they are going to change something, so this is all about that.”
In one of Heravi’s displayed pieces, she used nails to display the message of resistance.
“The length of the nails, I am talking about the continuity and the resistance,” Heravi said. “I wanted to see how much the rope was going to resist the nails. The more I am putting the nails in it, it is finally going to fall apart.”
In another, she used pins to illustrate the journey of those crossing the border.
“The needles, it is made for border crossers,” Heravi said. “The way they are crossing the border, encountering difficulties. The pins are referring to the danger they are facing.”
The LHUCA is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and there is no admission fee.
“This is a time we can have people come out and get a little bit of a taste of the arts, and we want people to come other times throughout the month,” LHUCA events coordinator Lyndsey Walton said. “Come and almost all of our programs we do outside of the galleries are free.”
LHUCA hosts the art trail event once a month due to the size of the event. Walton said they see between 5,000 and 8,000 people in the slower months. It is a lot of stress on their building, and is an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. Their entire staff works, security is hired and there are cost factors that are involved as well.
“It is a great cultural aspect to Lubbock that we do this and that LHUCA is here,” Walton said. “We are the biggest non-profit art center in a 350-mile radius, so I encourage all of the public to come out and deal with all of the arts: visual, performing arts, studio. There’s something for everyone, so if you think art isn’t for you, I guarantee we have something to offer.”
The exhibits change about every month, and LHUCA sees about 20 different exhibitions every year. Artists interested in displaying their work at the LHUCA are able to apply at LHUCA.org to see the submission process.
“We love to see local artists, Texas artists, national artists and different mediums too,” Walton said. “Multimedia art has gotten really big so we love to see that kind of thing as well.”
Fourth-year philosophy student Caitlyn Alexander said she tries to go to the First Friday Art Trail every month.
“It’s one of my favorite things in Lubbock, so I try to make it a point to come,” Alexander said. “Obviously it is fun to look at the art, and it’s also kinda a community event. There’s a lot of people here, there’s the food trucks. Just kinda a fun event and it’s cool to look at the art.”
Alexander said she thinks this month’sart consists of more abstract, simplistic pieces. Although she typically prefers more complex pieces, she said the more modern art is also cool.
“It’s a good time to spend with friends and it’s fun to discuss what you’re seeing with them,” Alexander said. “I think if this was a calmer event, it would even be fun to go by yourself in the sense of taking the art, but because it's such a busy event, I think it's more fun to go with friends.”
The next Friday Art Trail will be at the LHUCA from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. May 6.