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Cheap Date: Time to Get Your Art On

It's easy to appear cultured once a month at the First Fridays artwalk along Broad Street.

The Date: Check out to map out participating downtown galleries. Pound the pavement on West Broad, between Madison and First streets to hit several galleries or hop on the free transportation provided by GRTC from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to take in galleries off Broad. The shows set for this month, Feb. 7, look better than anything that those pushy New Yorkers got. The Orange Door Gallery at 12 W. Broad St. is having a show called "Open heArt" by Pam Anderson. No, no my uncultured friend, that's not the Pamela Anderson you know from "Baywatch" but a local multimedia artist. The band C.C. & Company will also play a show, and if you're lucky, you can check out a chocolate sculpture by A Sharper Palate.

Artspace, at 6 E. Broad St., features "Ground Level Railroad," a mixed-media installation from both Richmond and New York artists. There'll also be DJs, T-shirt air brushing and door prizes to boot. There are six other galleries to hit on First Friday, many with cash bars and free hors d'oeuvres so it's easy to make a night of it. See, culture can be fun. And you always have Tivo for the late edition of "SportsCenter."

— Francis W.

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