The end of summer brings First Fridays back to downtown Biloxi

‘Cowan Sunset,’ photography and digital art by Don Schiffner
‘Cowan Sunset,’ photography and digital art by Don Schiffner First Fridays

With the end of summer nearing, it’s time for the return of Finally First Fridays in downtown Biloxi.

Finally First Fridays is Biloxi Main Streets’ invitation to enjoy the arts, foods and hospitality offered by downtown businesses along Rue Magnolia and Water Street.

Local businesses keep later hours for the block party, which takes place tonight from 5 to 8. Many of the businesses host special events and some offer free hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Local vendors offer their wares in the park near the Magnolia Hotel. Inside the hotel there will be an opportunity to register for a $100 gift certificate to be given away during the event.

On the hotel veranda, Colin & Chase will provide live music throughout the evening. The Ocean Springs duo play singer-songwriter originals with pop-friendly hooks.

At Gallery 782 there will be an opening reception for a month-long featured exhibit of husband-and-wife artists Don and Sandra Schiffner.

Don is primarily a nature photographer who searches for the perfect lighting to capture beautiful scenes along the Coast. He also delves in black-and-white compositions and uses digital programs to give his photographs the look of sketches or paintings.

Sandra, also a photographer, captures moments in nature and creates a story with them through digital artistry. Sandra’s digital art often separates her subjects from their backgrounds to create striking imagery.

Don and his wife are two of 35 co-op members at Gallery 782. He said the return of First Fridays is exhilarating for the downtown area.

“This is great because it’s not just Gallery 782, but there’s Almost Circle and all the boutiques stay open later. It’s a more festive atmosphere around the Vieux Marche every time we have First Fridays,” Don said.

The couple will be at the reception to discuss their works. The gallery is located in the historic Scherer House at 782 Water St.

Almost Circle Gallery, 128 Rue Magnolia, is holding an opening reception for featured work by artist and puppeteer Michael Richardson. The artist’s exhibit is aptly titled “Strange Reflections: Puppets & Prints.” Richardson specializes in the Intaglio printing method to create dark, thought-provoking and sometimes whimsical artwork. Richardson worked as a puppeteer in Baltimore while attending the Maryland Institute College of Art.

For a little bit of fun, Le Café Beignet, 136 Rue Magnolia, will host a trivia night at 7 with prizes awarded to the top participants.

Admission to the event and galleries is free.