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First Fridays at SoWa: Art, Shopping and Food

An inspiring start to the weekend

By Mia Overbo

Graphic By Mia Overbo

Looking for something new to do on a Friday? If you like art and shopping, SoWa’s First Fridays are for you!

The SoWa Art + Design District in the South End is one of Boston’s biggest hubs for handmade goods. The collection of art studios, galleries, shops, and restaurants, located in revitalized industrial warehouses, lives and breathes the city’s ever-changing art scene.

On the first Friday of every month, from 5-9 p.m., the studios, galleries, shops, and showrooms are open to the public. In just one evening, you can step into each world of art. It’s a free event open to all ages. If the weather is nice, there are food trucks, too.

The open studios are located at 450 Harrison Ave., a three-story building with nearly 100 spaces. Visiting them during First Fridays is unlike a typical art gallery experience. The hallways overflow with conversations as visitors weave in and out of the studio spaces. Artists will welcome you into their spaces as they create new works—everything from big, bold paintings to intricate installations. It’s a special glimpse into a diverse range of creative processes.

After visiting the studios, explore the district’s shops. Make sure to check out Wyllo, a gift store that sells cute handmade cards, jewelry, candles, and more.

After a bit of shopping, grab a bite of street food from the food trucks at 500 Harrison Ave., the parking lot next to the studio spaces. You’ll find a rotating selection, including tacos, ice cream, and Mediterranean street food. For something a bit fancier, visit Marseille in SoWa, or one of the local neighborhood restaurants recommended by SoWa

The district offers other events, such as the Sunday Open Markets (from May to October) and Design Days. No matter when you attend, SoWa is a great spot to be inspired.


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