First Thursdays, the monthly open house hosted by art galleries and other downtown cultural institutions, will take on a special flavor tonight when Mayor Kurt Schmoke switches on the Washington Monument holiday lights at 5:15 p.m.
"We expect a few hundred people to show up at the monument," says event organizer Brian Lewbart. In addition to the lighting, the Charles Carollers will perform along Charles Street in the Mount Vernon area until 7:30 p.m. and hot cider and cookies will be served near the monument until 7.
On the first Thursday of every month, more than a dozen galleries, museums and specialty shops between the 300 and 1300 blocks of Charles Street open the doors to the public during 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for browsing, entertainment and special events.
First Thursday events
More than a dozen galleries and museums along the Charles Street corridor will offer free admission from 5 to 7:30 during tonight's "First Thursdays" event:
*AIA Baltimore, 11 1/2 W. Chase St. 1991 Design Awards.
L *Artshowcase, 336 N. Charles St. Glenn Walker retrospective.
*BAUhouse, 1713 N. Charles St., Living with HIV.
*Craig Flinner Gallery, 505 N. Charles St. Old Baltimore prints.
*Eubie Blake Cultural Arts Center, 409 N. Charles St. Holiday art sale.
*Keystone Gallery, 8 E. Franklin St. Watercolor interiors by Kathleen Darchicourt. Painted blown glass Christmas balls from Austria.
*Lois Hodes Gallery, 511 N. Charles St. Oils by Deborah Souders, embellished quilts by Paulette Warwick, animals in oils by Roberta Leimduler, sculpture by Nannette Clapman Blinchikoff, stained glass by Peg Silloway.
*Maryland Institute, College of Art, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave. Works by Christy Rupp in Decker Gallery; works by five painters in Meyerhoff Gallery.
*Meredith Gallery, 805 N. Charles St. Art furniture, ceramics, glass, jewelry.
*Mitchell Baker Gallerie, 523 N. Charles St. Paintings and drawings by Tom Webb; works in mixed media by David Kendel; photographs by A. E. Badertscher Jr.
*Mount Vernon Museum of Incandescent Lighting, 717 Washington Place. Museum, dedicated to the history and development of the electric incandescent lamp, has a collection of 60,000 bulbs.
*Tadder Gallery, 1010 Morton St. Photographs by Dan Beigel.
*Tomlinson Craft Collection, 516 N. Charles St. Toys for executives and other children. Jeweler of the month Sue Isaac Gould.
*Walters Art Gallery, 600 N. Charles St. Gold of Greece: jewelry and ornaments from the Benaki Museum.
Other events include:
*Lighting of the Washington Monument.
*Femme Boutique, 326 N. Charles St. "Fashion and Fine Art," showcase of wearable art.
*Charles Street Arts and Antiques Gallery, 819 N. Charles St. Opening reception.
*Walters Art Gallery, Charles and Centre streets. Talk at 8 p.m.: "Protecting Body and Soul: Demons and Jewelry in the Middle Ages."
*Noisey Cats, 900 Cathedral St. Opening of a new jewelry store.
*Bowen and King Opticians, 403 N. Charles St. Art from Handoriginals.
*Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place. Reception to mark publication of "Baltimore's Cast-Iron Buildings and Architectural Ironwork." Editors James Dilts and Catherine Black and authors Phoebe B. Stanton and David G. Wright will be on hand to sign autographs.
*Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., offers half-price tickets, subject to availability, to current production "My Children, My Africa!" Show copy of Street Sheet.
*Old St. Paul's Rectory, 24 W. Saratoga St. Open house tours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Light refreshments.
For more information, call Downtown Partnership at (410) 244-1030.