Tulsa’s First Friday Art Crawl Holds Onto Popularity

Out & About in Greater Tulsa by EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

CHALK CREATIONS: Children draw chalk art on the side of the Hardesty Arts Center, 101 E. Archer St., during downtown Tulsa’s First Friday Art Crawl in September.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

In September, I attended my first First Friday Art Crawl in a long time.

I am embarrassed to relate how long it actually has been, so I will leave that a mystery.

As I weaved through the crowds, walked among the rows of cars, consulting my long list of exhibits and events to attend, my “eureka” moment came quickly.

What has kept me from the Crawl for so long? It is partly because of “what used to be.”

My memories of the Crawl span back to its fledgling days, when city art crawls had already established themselves across the country as fully functioning community cultural events.

When Tulsa’s Crawl was still in its very early stages, I remember scowering online for information and finding very little.

Yet, though I remember feeling frustrated at Tulsa’s habitual turtle-like speed in catching up with other parts of the country, I dare say now that those times will remain in my mind as the best times: where the fun was in the finding, in the secret and, then, in the victory when stumbling upon something that feels like solely your own.

Of course, with the victories came disappointments.

But that only made the victories feel that much more, well, victorious and sweet, as the saying goes.

Of course, reflecting on the present popularity of the monthly Crawls, it has been a long time coming for downtown Tulsa and the former Brady Arts District (recently renamed the Tulsa Arts District). And it is well deserved.

On the night that I attended the Crawl, the Tulsa Symphony was performing at Guthrie Green, and an open spot on the lawn was hard to come by, equally so was a nearby parking place. Local musicians were performing on street corners. Vendors were selling their wares. Children and families meandered the sidewalks.

The Crawl brings together a wide range of community members and offers a chance to gather.

As for me, I will take these opportunities to enjoy but still always be on the lookout for the next hidden gem, waiting to be discovered.

Updated 10-19-2017

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