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Final Friday at Beatnik Studios

Beatnik Studios

Expect an evening of art, music, food and family fun at Beatnik Studios during its Final Friday event. Final Fridays is a free monthly event that showcases local, regional and statewide talent and is open to an all-ages audience. Beatnik Studios is located on the corner of Broadway and 17th Street.

Final Friday will feature the art of David Mohr, Trent Liddicoat and James Angello. An artist reception will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 29.

Music will be provided by Rook Family, Orion Walsh, Autumn Sky and Musical Charis.

I sat with Wesley Davis, photographer and co-owner, Beatnik Studios to talk about Final Fridays.

Davis began by saying, “We actually have a new artist director. Her name is Kelley O’Connell who has been a friend of ours for a long time. She’s a recent graduate of Sac State with a degree in Fine Arts. She has a good network of artists and is really passionate about doing new things with Sacramento artists.”

As the new Gallery Director, this will be O’Connell’s first Final Friday. Davis stated, “She brought in all the artists which is exciting. The artists are David Mohr, Trent Liddicoat and James Angello. Both David Mohr and James Angello are Sac State graduates and Trent Liddicoat is a self-taught artist.”

Inside Beatnik Studios

Music is an integral part of Final Friday and Davis talked about the lineup saying, “I asked Musical Charis to host this Final Friday because they haven’t done it in a long time. They’re good friends of ours, they live right upstairs here. They’re on tour and are basically bringing their tour package. It will be like their homecoming show they’re touring with Orion Walsh. Autumn Sky will be here as well with the Rook Family. So Musical Charis put the music portion together for this Final Friday.”

As we talked about Final Friday, Davis shared some thoughts about how the event started.

“Final Friday started about three years ago. Beatnik opened five years ago, in reality it will be five years in May. Actually we may have been doing Final Friday for four years, maybe over four years. Anyway, we started doing them as an open studio it was called Last Friday Open Studios and it kind of disappeared for a while and then we brought them back. I was like the one that said ‘Hey we should really be doing these Final Fridays because it’s a night to showcase studio space and to invite the community to come in and see what we’re up to.’ So we started it back up and the venue is really accessible, it’s open to people of all ages. We don’t charge to get in and then we have live music. So our goal, our main goal, for Final Friday is just to kind of give a little cross section of music and art culture in Sacramento to as many people as we can.”

Davis has been at Beatnik since its beginning and he shared a little history about the studios.

“When we first opened up we were a shared studio. Our business plan was to have kind of like an Urban Hive, a common working space but for photographers specifically where we would have a studio then offices and spaces just to meet clients. That was really up and down and then we also had the gallery pretty much from the get-go. We would hang art and show art and that was also kind of up and down and then we started doing events here. That was never really the original intent, to do events, but the events were very popular and we saw the potential of having them.”

Davis saw the use of events saying, “Event revenue helped support the studios so we made the transition to become an event space and now you now we’re a full out event space. We do weddings almost every weekend from spring to fall. Weddings are the big events but we also do fundraisers and all kinds of different parties. The cool thing about the events is that all those people who come for the events they get to see the art and they get to experience the culture that we provide.”

Beatnik has been around for almost five years and Davis noted that they must be doing something right and they’re not planning on going anywhere as they continue to grow.

When asked why Final Friday was chosen instead of Second Saturday or First Monday or anything similar Davis said, “We’re not trying to compete (with other events). We did Second Saturday but we want to provide a completely unique experience. We’d like to provide an evening where you can be in one place not hop from place to place to place. We want people to come and soak it all in, in one place and spend quality time with the artists’ work. We wanted our own kind of night something out away from the grid, away from that cluster of galleries. We wanted to give people a night where they could really feel like they’ve been soaked in an atmosphere that we provide instead of going for 10 minutes and then leave.”

The public is invited to enjoy local art and music at Beatnik Studios every Final Friday. The venue is open to guests of all ages. Log on to the Beatnik Studios Facebook or website to find out more about the studio and other events throughout the month.

Editor’s note: Every Thursday we deliver a local event guide straight to your inbox, right on time to make your weekend plans. Sign me up.

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