December Final Friday Preview: Drink up this month's events

While some of the traditional Final Friday venues will be closed this week, such as the Lawrence Arts Center and the Lawrence Art Party, there are still plenty of opportunities to see excellent works by some of our city’s most talented individuals — and you might have to have a drink or two in the process.

The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., a mainstay of Lawrence’s music scene, is getting in on Final Fridays fun this month by featuring the artwork of illustrator Josh Finley from 6-9 p.m. Finley, a self-employed illustrator and musician, is displaying a series of concert posters, Jungle Tech and Cartoon Westerns. There will be appetizers and live music (of course!)

The beverage theme continues at the Phoenix Gallery, 825 Massachusetts St., and if you stop by Friday, you will see a large display of handmade teapots, both functional and decorative. After your cup of tea, head downstairs to view paintings by Carl Brothers and Maria Martin. Although Phoenix Gallery customers will know Brothers for his beautiful pottery that they have sold for at least 15 years. Brothers has found himself moving toward painting in recent years, especially since retiring after a 36-year career teaching high school art. “Nobody ever takes their potter’s wheel to Vermont when they retire,” he says. “They take their watercolors!”

Artist Maria Martin is exhibiting alongside Brothers and is excited to be showing her paintings for the show, her first at Phoenix Underground.

“I’ve been a part of the art scene for a number of years and have done art in dibs and dabs, but the last few years I have gotten more serious about it,” she says. “Lawrence is a great place to be creative.”

Essential Goods is hosting a reception for Jeff Weinberg from 5 to 9 p.m. in its space at 825 Massachusetts. For his show, “Visions & Wired,” Weinberg found inspiration from his native Kansas, from great works of literature and music, and from his world travels. Rather than creating works on canvas, Weinberg prefers to paint on raw silk or muslin, mixing various items into his pigments including powdered gold or semi-precious stones.

This month also offers viewers an opportunity for reflection. Henry’s Coffee Shop (11 E. Eighth St.) is hosting Alycia Futrelle. Futrelle’s show “Staring at a Brick Wall” is a collection of works created during past year while sitting at her table staring at — you guessed it — a large brick wall. Inspired by both National Geographic photographs and found objects, the pieces demonstrate her experiments in form, material and matter. A Kansas native, Futrelle earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from KU in 2010.

And finally, while it is hardly parade weather, you may be interested in reliving some of the celebrations that have taken place on Mass. Street over the years, and if you are, check out Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St., where from 6-8 p.m. you can see the exhibit Celebration Central: Parades on Massachusetts St.


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