We have here four recommended First Friday stops — plus Penrod, which opens Friday night, but is quite a bit cheaper during Saturday's main events.
Subsurface Graffiti Expo
Ten-plus graffiti artists and crews will create 12 murals on the walls of Fountain Square this weekend as part of the 12th annual edition of Subsurface. Head to Value World, Santorini Greek Kitchen and White Rabbit Cabaret (or rather, an alley just north of the Rabbit) to see work in progress. A detailed map of work sites is available at subsurfacegraffiti.com. The expo opens Sept. 5 at the Vault at Murphy Arts Center with an exhibition of train panels featuring work by Subsurface artists past and present and includes a Sept. 6 after-party at White Rabbit Cabaret.
Fountain Square, Sept. 5-7, free (except $5 after-party), subsurfacegraffiti.com
Todd Matus: Photography and the Violin
The Stutz will kick off a big month for the violin in Indy — from the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (Sept. 5-21) to the Violin Society of America Conference (Sept. 16-21) — with a showcase of large-format photographs by Todd Matus documenting his attempt to establish a violin atelier in Bulgaria in 1994. Matus started working on violins in Bulgaria in 1988 as a summer job while teaching photography at Herron. He says he “developed a varnishing method that really got sales moving” before made it his full-time gig. Also on display: master violins by Indiana makers presented by Sofia Violins.
Stutz Art Gallery, Sept. 5-26, free, stutzartists.com
Tess Michalik: Rococo Puffs
The Richmond, Virginia-born, now Indy-based Tess Michalik's work isn't rococo in the historical sense, but the title to her show does playfully translate the way in which floral swirls pop out of her landscapes, some of which contrast vibrant patches of color with stark whiteness, as if someone restoring a 19th-century house wasn't quite able to peel off all that arsenic-laden wallpaper. This is the third exhibition/project from EdingtonKatz, a partnership between former Herron gallery director Paula Katz and Telene Edington, who runs a gallery in Three Oaks, Michigan.
EdingtonKatz Projects at Heartland Printworks (1028 N. Capitol Ave., Ste. B100), free, Sept. 5-Oct. 25 facebook.com/EdingtonKatzProjectsAlice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass
A new series of work by Mab Graves
Free stuff alert: The first 100 people who see Mab Graves' new show at Monster Gallery will receive a "special, limited-edition, event-only Alice pin." She promises 40-plus paintings, illustrations, miniatures and sculptures inspired by Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. And Graves says the show will be "really fun for kids" because it features interactive and tactile pieces.
Monster Gallery, Sept. 5, 6-10 p.m. and Sept. 26, 7-9 p.m., free, facebook.com/MonsterArtGallery
Just the facts: 340 artists, 70 non-profits, 20 entertainment acts, six stages (including dedicated jazz and blues stages), three local brewers — and one lovable scamp who lent his name to the festival, now in its 48th year. Note that while parking for Penrod is $25 per vehicle on the IMA grounds, it's free at off-site locations with shuttle service, including Clowes Hall, the Velodrome and Crown Hill Cemetery. But God will save his brightest smile for those who use the Pedal and Park corral, adjacent to the red bridge on the Central Canal Towpath. A $100 preview event including food and Flat12 beer runs 6-10:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.
Indianapolis Museum of Art grounds, Sept. 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $15 presale (penrod.org), $20 day of