First Friday Downtown

Free and open to the public, First Friday Downtown features new art, live music, and special events on the first Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m. at dozens of galleries, retailers and nonprofits throughout Downtown Colorado Springs.


Gain new insight into downtown Colorado Springs’ arts scene and hear from exhibiting artists on the Curator/Artist-Led First Friday Downtown walking tour. The free tour will visit a selection of Downtown galleries. In celebration of Arts Month, El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf will be taking a shuttle bus ride with Cultural Office executive director Andy Vick from 5-7 p.m. on First Friday, October 5. Those interested in joining the ride should meet at Cottonwood Center for the Arts around 5 p.m. After exploring Cottonwood for a bit, the group will be hopping the 5:30 p.m. Free First Friday Shuttle to the next destination. The final stop of the evening will be at the Plaza of the Rockies at 6:45 p.m. From there, folks will need to walk back to Cottonwood, if that’s where they parked their car. This activity is free and open to the public. Tours continue monthly, featuring a different local artist/curator tour guide each month.


Less driving; more art! From April through December, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region is pleased to provide a free shuttle bus service that makes a continuous loop around the city from 5-8 p.m. on First Friday.

NEW ROUTES THIS YEAR! Shuttle stops every half-hour at key Art Walk destinations in the State-Certified Creative Districts of Downtown and Manitou Springs, as well as Old Colorado City. In addition, local artists and performers will be along for the ride to entertain you, and share stories and interesting facts about the City of Colorado Springs.

Please follow this link to see a list of First Friday events by corresponding shuttle bus stop.


Click images to view details. See map at right (below on mobile).


The Modbo Gallery

17C E. Bijou St.

The Modbo presents October’s First Friday: The Mussorgsky Project: Pictures at an Exhibition Reimagined, with art by Phil Lear and musical collaborations throughout the month. The opening reception is from 5:00 pm until midnight on Friday, October 5th. The show runs through Friday, October 26th.

To incorporate the musical element of this collaboration, Ciborowski has programmed three nights of music. On First Friday, October 5th, between 5 and midnight you will hear classical performances by Jeremy Van Hoy accompanied by Lauren Ciborowski, Solveig Olsen (who will premier a new vocal arrangement written by Mark Arnest with lyrics by Nico Wilkinson), the First Congregational Church Handbell Choir, led by Mandy Todd, and the Catamount Quintet.

The second evening of music will be on Friday, October 19th, at 7 pm, $7-$10 suggested donation. This night will feature local musicians My name is Harriett, Charlie Milo, Jeremy Facknitz, Solveig Olsen reprising the piece from First Friday, Allison Lint, and Swelter and Burn. There will be some classical performances in this evening, but mostly, you’ll have the unique opportunity to hear local players riffing on Mussorgsky in their own style. Plus, special guest Max Ferguson will add a bit of dramatic flair to the evening.

Finally, on Friday, October 26th, 7 pm, $7-$10 suggested donation, join us for a night of modern jazz with Denver musicians Paul Riola, Joshua Trinidad, Kim Stone, Ian Argys, and Michel Stahli. This performance will be livestreamed on Jazz 93.5.


Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky wrote his famous piece, “Pictures at an Exhibition,” in 1874.  An artist friend named Viktor Hartmann had just died suddenly, and plunged into despair, Mussorgsky and other friends of Hartmann staged a memorial exhibition of hundreds of Hartmann’s works.  This became the inspiration for Mussorgky’s composition. The much beloved classical piece was originally written for solo piano, but quickly after its premiere was orchestrated by Maurice Ravel, and then rearranged for other instruments in countless versions over the years.

For such a well known piece, gallerist and classical pianist Lauren Ciborowski has always found it to be a bit odd that the works by Hartmann which inspired it are… not terribly interesting.  In her opinion. Says Ciborowski, “They aren’t bad, per se, but nothing about them seems awe-inspiring enough to have sparked such creative genius in Mussorgsky.” It is out of that musing that Ciborowski decided to embark on a pet project that she’s always wanted to do-- showing an exhibit of art more worthy of Pictures at an Exhibition.  She sought out acclaimed local painter Phil Lear, and he agreed to take on this unusual project.


Phil Lear has been painting professionally in the Front Range area for over a decade. He has won awards for his plein air work, and gained considerable recognition for his renderings of intriguing figurative scenes. Whether painting landscapes or narratives, he approaches his work as a story-teller. Following an illustration-focused degree in commercial art, Phil traveled and took on various projects that nurtured his creative skills, before settling in Colorado Springs. He is honored to have his work in many private collections, as well as on view to the public through a number of business commissions.


The Modbo is located in the Arts Alley in downtown Colorado Springs at 17C E. Bijou. Find the stretch of Bijou that is between Cascade and Tejon, and go south down the alley. Street parking is available, but The Modbo recommends the lot on Cascade just north of Bijou, which is only  $1 after 3 pm. The Modbo can be reached at,, or 633-4240.

Pictured: Bogatyr by Phil Lear. Image courtesy the Modbo.

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Pikes Peak Market

315 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
| 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pikes Peak Market invites you to enjoy the art of food at Pikes Peak Market on First Friday, September 7.

Visit our local food vendors to learn about the passion and drive that they have to make the art of food - locally sourced, locally crafted, healthy options - meaningful.  Pikes Peak Market vendors including Bon Bon Bombardier, COS 'bucha, Wilder Bag Co, Azteca Gourmet will offer their creative wares. Coffee and adult beverages available for purchase.

Take a visual tour of Southeast Asia with photography by Nicole Andre. Experience the land, the people, and the culture that forms the fabric of Southeast Asia ’s personality.

Pictured: Promotional image provided by Pikes Peak Market.

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Colorado Photography School

14 E. Bijou St.
| 5-8 p.m.

Gallery exhibit features student works in photography, including images from the 2017 solar eclipse.

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Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region

121 S. Tejon St., Suite 111

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region will present Rebirth: Works by Alyssa Karpa from September 7 through November 27. The opening reception will be on First Friday, September 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.


Rebirth contains artwork that depicts the healing qualities of art making, specifically the ways that textile arts act as a introspective and rejuvenating means of working through anxiety. The work in this show encompasses various fiber art techniques including embroidery and rusting fiber.


Alyssa Karpa was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a quirky suburb north of Philadelphia. The majority of her childhood was spent drawing and exploring outside with her sister. Alyssa attended Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania from 2009-2013, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art. She concentrated in drawing and fiber art; the two mediums complemented the themes portrayed within her work while allowing her to explore different materials and methods of making. In 2016, Alyssa earned an MFA in Textile Design at East Carolina University in North Carolina. After graduating, she spent two months travelling before relocating to Colorado Springs, where she works as the Peak Radar Coordinator at the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. Alyssa enjoys challenging herself with climbing, mountaineering, and finding ways to create art to illustrate these passions.

Pictured: Promotional image for Rebirth. Image courtesy the Cultural Office.

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Poor Richard’s

322 N. Tejon St.

First Friday at Poor Richard's in September features several artists including Heather and Jason Ruggieri, Joan Judge & Mary Piche and Karen Anderson.

Pictured: Karen Anderson. Image courtesy Poor Richard’s.


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UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art (GOCA 121)

121 S. Tejon St

On First Friday, September 7, GOCA introduces our Downtown gallery's newest exhibition:

"Radical: 50 Years of Libre Intentional Artist Community" (1968-2018).

The evening will kick off with a gallery talk with curator Daisy McGowan and artists in attendance from 5 - 9 p.m.



Libre was founded by artists in 1968 on southern Colorado's beautiful and rugged high mountain plains and exists still today as a place apart for artists and countercultural thinkers. One of the longest-running intentional communities, Libre manifested during the communal living movement in the late 60s and 70s, in which youth dissatisfied with mainstream society explored alternative forms of living. It's known for domes and "zomes" inspired by Drop City and Buckminster Fuller, hand-built by the artists who founded it. The art, architecture, and artists of Libre contributed mightily to the countercultural aesthetic of the era. Libre's influence—along with the collective swell of its founding era—can be seen today in contemporary art and culture.


Featured artists include Dean Fleming, Linda Fleming, Luz Fleming, Michael Moore, Billy Haynes, Christine Sandoval, Roberta Price, Jim Fowler, Electra Fowler Johnson, Scott Johnson, and additional artists connected to the history of Libre.

Refreshments will be provided by our season sponsors Brewer’s Republic and Bristol Brewing Company.

Gallery hours are Thursday - Saturday, 1 - 6 PM or by appointment.

Pictured:  Image courtesy Roberta Price, from Counter Culture Photos: Interior of Tony and Marilyn's Dome, Libre, 1968.

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Wild Goose Meeting House

401 N. Tejon St.

Live music from local reggae band Mo Mungus beginning at 9 p.m. No cover.

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