Tonight, the Fayetteville Square will be alive with First Thursday activities. There will be gallery openings, an outdoor film, live music and artists will be selling their work outdoors. The film “A Man Named Pearl” about topiary artist Pearl Fryar will be shown at the Town Center Plaza (bring lawn chairs). At Jammin Java there will be an “Art for Homeless Animals” art show by area artists.
Fayetteville Underground will unveil four new shows: Painter Leilani Law will show “Django” in the Revolver Gallery. Photographer Sabine Schmidt, will show “We’ve Been Holding This Moment for You” in the Hive Gallery. In the Underground’s E-Street Gallery, nationally acclaimed glass artist Ed Pennebaker will be featured and in the Vault Gallery, Chris Mostyn will show his monster drawings. Also featured will be art by students of Law. At Studio 3, 3 E. Mountain St., artists Kathy Thompson and Cindy Arsaga are “doing something different,” and selling “things that are live.” Activities begin at 5 p.m. and it’s all free.
Joe Martin Stage Race
One of our favorite springtime events is happening this week: the Joe Martin Stage Race, named for the late Fayetteville cycling enthusiast. This year’s race will bring 700 athletes from 19 countries and almost every state to Fayetteville. Racers will be competing for more than $50,000 in cash and $10,000 in merchandise. The race is part of the USA Cycling National Race Calendar, which operates under the United States Olympic Committee.
There’s an opportunity for everyone to be part of the excitement by cheering on the cyclists at the finish line, watching racers prep for the races or riding in the Cruiser Parade — all free. Visit www.joemartinstagerace. com for maps and details.
Today is time trials for the pro/elite racers. Racers will be at Devil’s Den State Park this afternoon.
Dickson Street is the place to be on Friday. The first Pro/elite racers will be crossing the finish line about 5 p.m. with final racers coming in about 6 p.m. The finish line is in front of Collier Drug. Cheering the racers as they pedal up Dickson Street is a great way to welcome the athletes.
On Saturday, amateur racers will be at Devil’s Den about 8:30 a.m. for an uphill time trial while pro racers will be competing in a road race that begins and ends at Razorback Road and Martin Luther King Blvd. The 23-mile loop turns at Hogeye. The first round of racers will takeoff about 11:30 a.m. and will hit the finish line about 2 p.m. The last round of racers will roll to the finish line about 6:20 p.m. The two prime viewing spots are the finish line and “The Wall” — a difficult uphill climb — on Arkansas 156 about 3 miles east of Arkansas 265 and Arkansas 156.
Sunday is Criterium day when everything converges on the Fayetteville Square. The racing will be fast and furious. Activities run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a kid’s ride for ages 3-12 at 12:30 p.m. and a community cruiser parade also at 12:30 p.m. Parade riders are asked to decorate their bikes and come in costume. Go to the website to register or to the Ozark Offroad Cyclists booth on Sunday.
Racers came to town earlier this week to practice and get used to the climate. Drive carefully and salute these fine athletes, who may be future Olympians.
Homage To Mothers
Celebrate Mother’s Day at the OMNI Center and pay tribute to peacemaker Julie Ward Howe who created Mother’s Day in 1870 as a proclamation against war. OMNI has a new ArtSpace and will be hosting an exhibit called “The Art of Mothering” this month. Local artists including WWAM (Women With A Message) will be showing art that relates to mothering. There will be a special showing from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mother’s Day, with an open mic for songs, poems and performances about mothering. Desserts and beverages served and there will be flowers for the first 50 moms. ArtSpace will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays in May. Omni is at 3274 N. Lee Ave. in Fayetteville.
Madison, Wisconsin’s gypsy swing unit, Harmonious Wail will be at GoodFolk in Fayetteville for an 8 p.m. show on Saturday. The gypsy jazz takes its cue from the late French guitarist Django Reinhardt, but Harmonious Wail is a bit different than many of the gypsy bands working today. Harmonious Wail adds a female vocalist. The group has been around for 17 years and has performed worldwide. Tickets are $15 and available by calling 521-1812.