With August notoriously one of the smallest turnout months for First Friday, organizers chose to rearrange the vendor-heavy event to present a block-long Antarctica-themed installation on Casino Center Boulevard, complete with glaciers, icebergs and a soundscape. That’s why it was snowing Styrofoam, or so it seemed, inside the garage/ping-pong room at Downtown’s Work in Project space, where a swamp cooler blew drifts of white Styrofoam on a worktable as volunteers carved penguins out of the polystyrene foam.
“The complaint is that there’s no art at First Friday,” says artist Justin Favela, First Friday’s art liaison leading the community workshops. “This is really a test to see what the feedback is.”
Under the guidance of sculptor Miguel Rodriguez, volunteers had already carved more than 15 penguins for the installation, which also includes Favela’s giant paper mâché seals. Outside, artists Javier Sanchez and Yasmina Chavez were inflating a glacier to be lit by Todd VonBastiaans and Bryan McCarthy of Alios on Main Street, where artists Jennifer Kleven and Krystal Ramirez were building icebergs. And the pavement? Michael Wardle will be painting the frozen landscape onto the street.
antARTica August 2, 5-11 p.m., Casino Center Boulevard between California and Colorado avenues.