Plenum Space (504 East 18th Street) provides great artist introductions to KC's scene. And it's especially worthwhile to get there this First Friday to see Damia Smith's wearable art fully engaged. Smith, who recently earned her MFA in metalsmithing from the University of Kansas, makes pieces that are part sculpture, part textile and wholly arresting. At Plenum, gallerygoers can don lacy, clunky, weighted, restrictive items and react to them, as videos of past performances play on large screens.
You may remember the Cube gallery at Beco Flowers from about a decade ago. Last month, the floral designer began hosting art shows again. Under the direction of Courtney Wasson, Beco Gallery (1922 Baltimore) started in July with works by Justin Gainan. Tonight, see what photographer Emmett Merrill has been up to as a printmaker. Always one to uncover odd narratives, Merrill here offers "Swampy Pygmalion" triptychs that chronicle a former neighbor's lung disease-gurgled songs about Ronald Reagan. Stop in and visit his "print bar," too. For more shows tonight, see our gallery guide pullout in this week's issue. - Tracy Abeln
First Friday Social Roundup
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway). Beginning at noon, you can tour the performance halls and visit the gift shop. But if you wait until 4 p.m., you can have a drink at one of the bars and buy food from trucks outside. See kauffmancenter.org.
Mid-America Arts Alliance (2018 Baltimore). Inside, consider the meaning of your physical space with a preview of House & Home, an exhibit about the American construct of home, which fully shows later in September. Outside, get back to the 1980s with new wave tribute bands Spud Patrol (Devo) and Hero Worship (the B-52s). The free music begins at 8 p.m.
Mod Gallery (1809 McGee). From 5 to 10 p.m., see art from Baker Medlock, Kyle Moody and Carlos Loubriel, alongside Team Hot Rod from the reality show Raising the Bar (the one in which six teams have eight hours to build a bar that can pour an exact shot). Live music from 500 B.C. and My Six Gun Heart. Search "Mod KC" on Facebook for more info. -- Berry Anderson