I try to make it out to just about every JC Friday (spirit of community!), and though I love the idea of people going to local establishments to see or listen to the work of resident artists, I just have to say--JC Fridays is not about art.
Restaurants and bars open up their spaces to artists not because they're feeling altruistic, but because special events are a great way to pack a room on an otherwise normal night. They're out to make a buck, and hey, I don't think anything's wrong with that. But what I do take issue with is the uneven display and treatment artists' work gets from venue to venue because of apparent disinterest. I could barely even see the paintings on display at Hard Grove: they were squashed across from the bar, hung over a curtain, and stuck so high up that I kept running into people trying to get a good look (I never really did). Other venues are often guilty of the same transgression, which just isn't respectful to the artists showing work in the space, nor to the people who have come to see them. It is a trade after all, and these businesses wouldn't have been advertised citywide (and in that handy JC Fridays brochure!) had they not had artwork to show.
So if you're an artist who's interested in bringing work out for JC Fridays, take some control over how your art is hung and where you can put your statement; and if you're a participating business, don't forget that without these artists and their work you wouldn't have sold all that extra booze.
Props to the Stockinette and LITM for consistent, courteous display of artworks and artist info, and to 58, Arthouse, and the JC museum (via some condos because they don't have the money to keep the museum open at night??) for representing the more artistic side of these Fridays.