Get our Insider's Guide to Downtown Knoxville delivered straight to your inbox. We promise to send you only the good stuff.

First Friday ArtWalk

Art. Music. Food. Fun. Community.

On the first Friday of each month, the streets of Downtown Knoxville come alive for a casual evening of experiencing art in all forms.

Explore galleries, studios, and artist collectives; roam through shops hosting open houses and local artist exhibits; enjoy performance art and live music in the streets and a variety of venues; drop in restaurants along the way and treat yourself to drinks and great food.

The thriving arts community is one of the things we love most about Knoxville. So come take a walk through our vibrant streets and experience the warmth and community of the neighborhood. Here's how to get started and tips on parking.

🎨 Exhibits Open Throughout the Month 

Be on the lookout for the "🎨" and "🎭" emojis in the lists below for exhibits and shows throughout the month. Exhibits vary from place to place, so check back before each First Friday for updated schedules. 

Attention Artists + Makers

If you're interested in exhibiting your work in Downtown Knoxville, find a list of venues looking for artists and information on how to connect.

Share your ArtWalk photos with #FirstFridayKnox!

May 6 – Exhibits

🎨 Dogwood Arts

Dogowood Arts presents the 2022 Epiphone Student Art Guitar Exhibition + Auction. The exhibition includes 20 guitars designed by youth artists from across East Tennessee. Each guitar is available for auction online with proceeds benefiting Dogwood Arts and the Songbirds Foundation’s youth art programs. Professional artist Curtis Glover also designed and painted a guitar for the fundraiser this year! The First Friday opening reception will be from 5-8 pm and will include live music featuring Brooks Coker & Alex Carter.

123 W Jackson Ave (865) 637-4561 Venue Details >
🎨 Emporium Center

The Arts & Culture Alliance presents five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in Downtown Knoxville from May 6-28, 2022. A free reception with the artists will take place on Friday, May 6, from 5-9 pm and features music inside the Emporium by Variego3 and Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus. The new exhibits include Denise K. Cumming and Mike C. Berry: Motion, Time, and Light, Four Artist TN: From this Point; Sam Stapleton: Hidden Dimensions, Timothy Bridges: Fiberworks; TN Voices: Behind the Mask – Unamasking Mental Health.

100 S Gay St (865) 523-7543 Venue Details >
Pretentious Glass Co

Pretentious Glass Co welcomes Wes Valdez (also know as Blob Blobber) for a solo exhibition in the Pretention Glass Gallery and a sculptural live demo from 6-9 pm during First Friday. Wes' work involves a lighthearted approach of investigation of form through playful experimentation. By intuitively collaging materials and processes, he highlights impulse, desire, and beauty. Using color, optics, light, and texture, he creates enticing and visually satisfying sculptural forms.

133 S Central St (865) 249-8677 Venue Details >
🎨 Rala

Rala will be featuring art by local favorite Cynthia Markert, who has long been creating timeless paintings of women on wooden panels. Cynthia's show, titled "The Fortune Teller's Sister & Other Portraits", will feature all one-of-kind originals and will remain on display through the end of May. 

112 W Jackson Ave (865) 525-7888 Venue Details >
Rains Tattoo Company

Rains Tattoo is opening up on First Friday to showcase artwork made by the artists from Rains Tattoo Company. Make your way to 411 S Gay St., between 7-10 pm, to see the show!

411 S Gay St Venue Details >
Knoxville Soap Candle & Gifts

Make your own candle on First Friday at Knoxville Soap Candle & Gifts! Torrie & AJ of 865 Candle Co will guide you through the process, step-by-step. In class, you will go on a candle making journey that includes melting your own wax, curating your scent, and creating your own scent name. For tickets visit Knoxville Soap Candle & Gifts' Facebook page. (Space is limited)

714 S Gay St (865) 689-6545 Venue Details >
Able Trade

Join Able Trade for their monthly First Friday Gallery Event featuring the ceramic works of Sam Chumley! Sam sees pottery as a medium that is familiar and approachable cross culturally, and therefore provides a solid platform to express ideas to an audience. The imagery he utilizes references the stylistic elements of traditional tattoos. Able Trade will be open to visitors from 5-8 pm on First Friday. P.S. We heard they have a cool robot!?!

203 W Jackson Ave (865) 296-0832 Venue Details >
Marble City Salon

Visit Marble City Salon on First Friday from 6-9 pm to view photography by Bruce McCamish and paintings by Suzanne Jack!

603 W Main St (865) 556-1177 Venue Details >
🎨 Christopher Robin Arts

Visit Christopher Robin Arts to see the work of Christopher and Robin Rohwer, husband-and-wife artist duo. Their gallery is located in the Phoenix Building on the 400 block of Gay Street. Stop by from 5-8 pm on First Friday to meet the artists and to view their paintings and photography!

418 S Gay St Venue Details >
🎨 Knox Brew Hub

Artist Kamden Ekren will have drawings on display at Knox Brew Hub throughout the month of May! With 23 beers brewed in and around Knoxville on tap, Knox Brew Hub is a fantastic place to take a pit stop during First Friday. 

421 Union Ave (865) 454-9688 Venue Details >
🎨Phoenix Building

Photographer Michelle Carr will host a reception for her exhibit at The Phoenix Building on First Friday from 6-9 pm. This is a two part photography exhibition. "What's The Pointe?" a continuation of a ballet photography exhibit photographed during quarantine, and ghosting images created with minimal light source with choreography placed on dancers to capture expressive movement. Walk through the gallery before picking up a coffee at Status Dough or after dessert from the Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain during the month of May. 

418 S Gay St (865) 692-1603 Venue Details >
Bethie Lou's

There's a 'fabulous' new gift store in The Old City! You are invited to the Grand Opening on First Friday!

110 S Central St Venue Details >
🎨 Lox Salon

Lox Salon in the Old City invites you for an evening of art and community fellowship on First Friday! On display for the month of May, you'll see evocative and bold art by the spectacularly talented Lauren Ailor.

103 W Jackson Ave (865) 523-5569 Venue Details >
Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes

Make your way to Bliss & Tori Mason Shoes to see new work from Carrie Garrison of Foolish Designs! Carrie is a multidisciplinary artist with focuses in ceramics, graphic design, and illustration. Meet Carrie during the pop-up on First Friday from 6-8 pm. Her work will be on display and for sale Friday-Sunday.

445 S Gay St (865) 329-8868 Venue Details >
Fat Tuesday

Frozen cocktails and art make for a FUN First Friday! Mary Ward Chalk Painting will have work on display at Fat Tuesday's. Cool down by trying one of the new flavors of their frozen cocktails!

417 S Gay St (504) 831-9415 Venue Details >
🎨 Awaken Coffee

Awaken Coffee will host an opening reception for artist Marianne Woodside on May 6 from 6-8 pm. Woodside is a professor emerita from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an avid photographer. Her subjects range from still life images of glass, to landscapes to flora and fauna here in East Tennessee and beyond.

125 W Jackson Ave (865) 951-0427 Venue Details >

Honeymouth is hosting a First First evening with a restocked shop of their previously sold out Spring Collection! Open until 7 pm. Plus free personalization of items during the event. 

125 S Central St (865) 240-3956 Venue Details >

May 6 – Theatre, Music, + More

🎭 Old City Performing Arts Center

Enjoy a night of theatre at the Old City Performing Arts Center. River and Rail Theatre Co presents SWEAT! Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT centers on a group of friends at their go-to bar in Reading, Pennsylvania. In the year 2000, layoffs and lockouts threaten their factory floor jobs, thrusting them into a bitter fight for survival. Produced across the country to critical and popular acclaim, SWEAT considers the effects of America’s economic decline and deindustrialization alongside a heart-wrenching examination of friendship, race, class, and trust within this community of family and friends. Tickets are available at riverandrailtheatre.com and at the door.

111 State St (865) 407-0727 Venue Details >
Merchants of Beer

Drink for a good cause! BreastStrokes will be on the patio with merchandise for sale from 6-8 pm on First Friday. BreastStrokes is a grass-roots effort dedicated to helping female cancer patients receive the financial support they need during treatment. A portion of beer sales will be donated to BreastStrokes!

137 S Central St (865) 247-5503 Venue Details >
Knoxville Visitors Center

Celebrate First Friday each month with free live music from 6-7 pm at WDVX’s studio inside the Knoxville Visitor Center. Performances are hosted by Evie Andrus and include artists from around the region as well as nationally touring acts. From toe taps to beer taps, you’ll find it all!

301 S Gay St (865) 523-7263 Venue Details >
Tall Man Toys & Comics

Go Go Power Rangers!!! Meet Jason Faunt from Power Rangers Time Force at Tall Man Comics on First Friday!

1060 World's Fair Park Dr (865) 219-1064 Venue Details >
Bistro at the Bijou

Cocktails, dinner and a show. Enjoy live music from Jeanine Fuller on First Friday. Jeanine Fuller is a seasoned vocalist and performer who delivers stunning, soulful performances with eclectic blends of musical styles. Her musical influences vary from Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald to Dianne Reeves and Chaka Khan to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince. 

807 S Gay St (865) 544-0537 Venue Details >
Boyd's Jig & Reel

Late night live music and drinks! Traveling band Sad Daddy from Arkansas will be playing original tunes at Jig and Reel on First Friday! The band will perform from 9 pm to midnight! There is no cover and must be 21+!

101 S Central St (865) 247-7066 Venue Details >
Bernadette's Crystal Gardens

Dance the night away at Bernadette's Quartz Lounge. Knoxturnal Entertainment presents DJ Night on First Friday. The dancing starts at 9 pm and is 21+ with a cash cover at the door. 

26 Market Square (865) 524-2224 Venue Details >
Art in Public Places

Take a stroll and explore Dogwood Arts installation of Art in Public Places, a large-scale sculpture installation in and around Krutch Park. Great photo ops for your First Friday ArtWalk evening. Share your photos to Instagram and use #LoveDowntownKnox!

Between Gay St and Market Square Venue Details >
Free Downtown Trolley

Hop on the Free Downtown Trolley! It will take you between Market Square, Gay Street and the Old City. Catch it at any Green Line stop every 10 minutes.

301 E Church Ave (865) 637-3000 More Details >
Regal Riviera - Movie Theater

Take your night to the big screen with the art of film at the Regal Riviera on Gay Street. Check out current blockbusters on their website!

510 S Gay St (865) 522-5160 Venue Details >