The author with Jackie Perreira at The ARTS at Marks Garage's Ice Cream Party exhibit

The author with Jackie Perreira at The ARTS at Marks Garage’s Ice Cream Party exhibit


You never know what to expect on First Friday in Chinatown, and March’s event was no different — and it came with a surprise mind-bending exhibit at Red Door Artz called Swarm The World.

When I walked in, I didn’t know what I was looking at. Stacy Suzuki, Patty Lent, Shyrl Matias and Carol Moore took photos of little blue, cut-out butterflies around town, at various elementary schools, at each others’ houses, etc. It kind of had the feeling of a craft fair’s first encounter with street art. The locations seemed to be picked on the basis of “here’s as good as anywhere else,” and I could sense their giddy excitement behind the project even if I couldn’t really grasp its purpose.

At first I thought it was something the ladies at the exhibition thought of themselves, but I discovered it’s part of a global project by NYC-based artist Tasha Lewis. The project is designed to truly “swarm the world,” with more than 300 butterflies sent to different places and people ( Suddenly, these photos made a little more sense. Butterflies aren’t really concerned about landing in the most photogenic locations or being in the best photograph; they might be content to rest their wings at a random neighborhood park, a parked car or really wherever they happen to be. It was an interesting peek into the lives of paper butterflies, something I have never before stopped to think about.

Artist Sergio Garzon outdid himself again, with an installation at Hound and Quail that originally had been intended for the unfortunately cancelled Skate Life exhibit at In4mation. There was an installation with manta rays swimming through a floor-to-ceiling paper surf scene with tendrils and giant origami dogs. He also had watercolor sketches augmented with glitter that were annotated with chit-chat dialogue. As a writer, my favorite was a typewriter proudly thinking to itself, “I wrote a letter to the editor all in green,” with the voice of God retorting, “Yeah but you spelt it all wrong, b****.” Lots of thought collages, pictures within pictures and all around creative fun. I definitely recommend stopping by Hound and Quail to check it out.

Lisa Shiroma's ‘Kitty Cone'

Lisa Shiroma’s ‘Kitty Cone’

My next stop was an all-women’s art show at Studio 114, which had me a little worried walking up the stairs. Even though I’m all for women’s rights, I sometimes feel intimidated walking into something like this. But it was very inviting, full of peaceful ladies and some cool art, too. There was an avant-garde black-and-yellow painting called Glow by Danielle Halford that I would totally rock at my house since it matches my bike. The Irish Car Bomb cupcakes didn’t hurt my overall feelings toward the event, and I left glad for the existence of women and art.

I finished off my First Friday at Marks Garage for its Ice Cream Party show. There were clay ice creams represented both literally and in a deconstructed component-based manner. Figurines of ice cream trucks and vendors and cut-out photo props brought the gallery to life.

The highlight of the show was Lisa Shiroma’s Kitty Cone. Shiroma states: “I went one step closer to having an intimate connection with ice cream by replacing it with cute and cuddly pets. Do you love your pets so much sometimes you get the urge to lick them?”

No, I don’t.