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December First Friday: Groups, Gifts & Grey Gardens

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Maybe it's all the jovial togetherness of holidays and maybe it's the need to gather with others for warmth in Indiana's blustery winter weather, but December is a big month for group art shows. This First Friday, TINY II, Toys and Grey Gardens will each bring together a group of artists around a core theme, carrying on some long and some newer traditions. Alongside those offerings, 2013's final First Friday will offer gift buyers, house hunters and design enthusiasts a fun outing.

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For your First Friday agenda consideration:

The oldest of the three big group shows, the Harrison Center's color-themed exhibit focuses on grey in this, its 12th year. But it's not just any grey. It's a grey that would make the Maysles brothers and Edies, big and small, quite proud – Grey Gardens – with dozens of local artists contributing. The center's crew and contributing artists have made their way through most of the basic Crayola box, and you can read a roundup of previous years' adventures.

Next up? The 11-year-old middle child of the December group shows, Primary Colours' Toys exhibit at the Murphy Arts Center. This is an always-fun show, with a mix of childlike playfulness and funny recasting of nostalgic playthings. This year, Primary Colours teams up with Indy Reads Books, which will have children's books for sale at the event.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis's Gallery 924 gathers very small pieces by some pretty big local art names for TINY II. No piece in this show is larger than 6 inches by 6 inches, which means that they provide a very affordable starting point for a newbie art collector – or a great addition for someone running out of wall space. The organizers promise "hundreds of pieces," ensuring there is something there to surprise and delight nearly any art lover.

WALTER KNABE
  • Walter Knabe

The Cole-Noble Gallery opens at the Artistry, an in-fill housing development on Market Street, just east of the Circle (a good reason to stop and see the lights beforehand). In addition to its permanent collection, the event features Walter Knabe, a painter with a studio in New York City and Carmel. If you can't make it, Pattern Magazine is on board to manage the tweets, posts and insta-images for the event.

Gift givers should swing by the Harrison Center even if they aren't obsessed with staunch characters, because the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange Winter Mini includes works from many of the most popular local makers. Plus, artists from the disability community plan to sell paintings, prints and ceramics at the Deck the Walls Big-Hearted Sale at VSA Indiana.

In Fountain Square, shoppers can visit two spots to pick up presents for recipients with a lot of local pride. Commercial Article #6 about Norman Norrell, a Hoosier designer with an important fashion footprint, is the star of a special holiday reception at Well Done Marketing and will be for sale alongside the previous five editions. People for Urban Progress hosts a First Friday sale with snowflakes made from recycled dome fabric, t-shirts and a local clothing line.

PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS
  • People for Urban Progress

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