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posted: 7/29/2014 2:46 PM

First Fridays returns to downtown Aurora on Aug. 1

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By Marissa Amoni
Aurora Downtown

After taking a month off for Aurora's July 4 fireworks celebration, First Fridays in downtown Aurora is back to "wow" with art, music, dancing, and more.

On Aug. 1, First Fridays returns with nine venues throughout downtown Aurora. The events are free and art is for sale.

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Artist Janet Wickham displays her "Tree Bark" paintings from 7 to 11 p.m. at If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave. The downtown gallery welcomes guests with free drinks, appetizers, and good times. The exhibit runs through Aug. 29.

Allen+Pepa Architects, 121 W. Benton St., opens "Digital Mashups" featuring artist Steve Sherrel's digital prints from 5 to 9 p.m. The architectural firm in the old Holbrook displays local art on a bimonthly basis curated by Rebecca Allen.

The Light of The Heart: A Community Art Therapy Project in Aurora, upstairs at 14 W. Downer Place, celebrates its approaching Art Jam event with client art and more from 7 to 10 p.m.

Local musicians perform at an open mic hosted by Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendees can enjoy acoustic, family friendly performances as well as works from Aurora Art League artists.

It's a jazz affair at David L. Pierce Art and History, 20 E. Downer Place, from 6 to 9 p.m. On the first floor, the Aurora Historical Society presents a book launch and signing: "Aurora's East-West Football Rivalry" by Steve Solarz, and its History Mystery game. On the third floor, Aurora Public Art Commission presents the Jazz Occurrence Sextet, which plays free jazz and spontaneously composed music, and Achenbach paints on canvasses placed around the band. Achenbach's goal, he has said, "Is to capture the frequency of the room through form and color and create an environment of complete freedom."

VARA Design, 15 W. Downer Place, hosts an art opening featuring the works of April Dippy and Jen Evans from 6 to 9 p.m.

SciTech Hands On Museum, 18 W. Benton St. is open from 6 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 for $1 each, and a display features cameras throughout the years.

Green Buddha Life Sustainability Center and Eco-Arts Gallery, 205 W. Galena Blvd., is open from 6 to 9 p.m. with environmentally friendly art.

River's Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Place, is open from 5 to 9 p.m. with music on the back deck starting at 7 p.m.

Murals by local artists are also on view in windows along Galena Boulevard as part of the grass-roots Vacant Window Project.

First Fridays in downtown Aurora invites the community to enjoy art, music, food, theater and more on the first Friday of the month. For more information and for a map of participating venues, visit www.auroradowntown.org. The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse returns in September.

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