March’s First Fridays Brings Back Trolley, New Venues & Austrian-Inspired Art Center to Downtown Aurora

Artist Martin Soto of the Soto Art Project brings some Austrian-inspiration to downtown Aurora with the opening of The Künstlerhaus Gallery and Cultural Center at 14 W. Downer Pl. Suite 16.

Artist Martin Soto of the Soto Art Project brings some Austrian-inspiration to downtown Aurora with the opening of The Künstlerhaus Gallery and Cultural Center at 14 W. Downer Pl. Suite 16.

First Fridays, a monthly open house of art galleries and businesses in downtown Aurora, is welcoming inspiration from Austria this month with the opening of The Künstlerhaus, a gallery and cultural center on the ground floor of the Metropolitan Business College building at 14 W. Downer Pl. Suite 16.


Artist Martin Soto, who helped launch New Hites Studios and Gallery last fall on the second-story of the same building, said the new ground-floor gallery will exhibit fine art paintings, photography, and sculpture and be “stylishly minimalistic.”


The Künstlerhaus is part of the Soto Art Project, which Soto founded with a mission to promote and facilitate a cultural dialogue, and nurture the creativity and growth of talented local artists and artisans.


The opening exhibit will feature new works from Soto, along with works from guest artist Jeff Thompson, a sculptor who merges a multitude of various images to capture the characteristics found in each of his haunting works or art. Guests also include Aroma Roots, an Aurora-based natural and handmade soap company, and Fox Valley Homebrew and Winery with tastings and demonstrations.


Soto’s new works can also be seen at Chef Amaury, 33 W. New York St., at the opening of the new art show, “Food.” The show will also feature fine culinary creations from Chef Amaury and paintings by Juan F Sepulveda II, another resident artist at New Hites Studios and Gallery.


The Yetee Gallery at 110 Cross St. will once again be open with pinball and other fun games. The Yetee fortress throws great parties, and patrons can purchase local t-shirts and First Fridays tote bags from 7 to 11 p.m.

If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., is announcing the winners of the Aurora Public Library’s “Art of Technology” competition at 6 p.m. All of the original artwork submitted by Aurora residents will be on display in the gallery from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.


The party continues at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl. as the Aurora Historical Society celebrates 200 years of William A. Tanner. Also open is “Materiality” curated by Rena Church and Jen Evans, in the third floor’s Aurora Public Art Commission gallery.


Tentacles are taking over the ArtBar this month. The ArtBar, in the tavern at Two Brothers Roundhouse, features more than two dozen local artists for one night only. Visit the ArtBar from 6 p.m. to midnight.


Local musicians will perform at an open mic hosted by Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd. from 6 to 8 p.m. Musicians are invited to sign up starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Attendees can enjoy acoustic, family-friendly performances.


New Hites Studios and Gallery is open for browsing upstairs at 14 W. Downer Pl. Visit the studios of artists Martín Soto, Kit Sunderland, Toty Pix, and others from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Get a professional headshot taken by Prairie Pro Photo.


Green Buddha Life Sustainability Center and Eco-Arts Gallery, 205 W. Galena Blvd., will  display a myriad selection of the spiritually inspired artwork of Joanne Koenig-Macko. The gallery is open from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.


SciTech Hands On Museum, 18 W. Benton St. is open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with free fun for the whole family. Local works of art along with art stations are set up during the evening.


Gerardo Madrigal, 52 W. Downer Pl., opens his second-floor art studio from 6 to 8 p.m. Madrigal invites the public to take a closer look at some of his old works and current works in progress.


River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl., is open from 6 to 10 p.m. with live music starting at 7 p.m.


Trolley service runs from 7 to 10 p.m. The trolley is free, and starts and stops at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway. Food and drinks are permitted on board.


First Fridays in Downtown Aurora invites the community to enjoy art, music, food, theater, and more on the first Friday of the month.

All events are free and art is for sale.

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