The always popular First Friday Gallery Walk returns to downtown Bend and the Old Mill District on Friday. For the many who enjoy the monthly art, wine, music and hors d’oeuvres crawl, the month of February is stacked with opening receptions.

Events are free unless otherwise noted. Here’s a look at some highlights:

Oregon State University and Central Oregon Community College art instructor Ian Factor recently signed on with Peterson Roth Gallery in downtown Bend.

“This will be my first showing at the Peterson Roth Gallery announcing a long-term relationship, which the gallery and I are (both) very excited about,” Factor told GO! via email. “The work is comprised of 10 oil paintings from my last year living and working in New York City and my first year in Oregon. There are distinct polarities between the two subject matters based on my two different locations and the regional and social influences of those times. “The works have opposing aesthetics in some aspects, but are deeply connected through the technical narrative and other aspects,” Factor said. “I hope the viewers will recognize and sense (that) when seeing them in person. We are planning a solo show in the next year of works I’m producing right now in my Bend Studio based on a new theme and subject matter I’ve been planning for years.”

While the dates of that solo show are as yet to be determined, check out Factor’s richly layered oils based on his coast-to-coast experiences in this show, on exhibit through Feb. 28. At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Factor will give an artist’s talk at the Peterson Roth Gallery, 206 NW Oregon Ave., in downtown Bend. The gallery is also hosting a show of works by Oregon artist Robert Schlegel, who’s been exhibiting his pen and ink drawings since 1973 around the Northwest, including Portland Art Museum.

Bend Art Center promises to be a hive of activity from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, when it will host the opening of two exhibits in its main gallery. First up, “Convergence,” a show of work by Jeanette Small, a member of A6 — the printmaking studio headquartered at Bend Art Center. Small’s work depicts bees, honeycombs and cathedrals to address the power of hive-like collaboration. Also opening Friday at Bend Art Center, or BAC, is Salem artist Ann Kresge’s “Sacred Spaces,” a combination of book art and installation titled “Gathering Spaces #4.” Built on site at BAC, “Gathering Spaces #4” is part of a series of site-specific works about building safe, contemplative gathering spaces. Kresge and Small will give an art talk at 5 p.m. Saturday at BAC. Admission is $5.

Speaking of contemplative gathering spaces, the artist-run Red Chair Gallery will host an opening reception from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday for an exhibit featuring three member artists: Larissa Spafford’s lampwork glass jewelry, Kim McClain’s mixed-media paintings and Eleanor Murphey’s craftsman-inspired pottery. Red Chair Gallery, 103 NW Oregon Ave., Bend.

Speaking of group shows, Tumalo Art Co., a member-run gallery at 450 SW Powerhouse Drive, Suite 407, in the Old Mill District, isn’t waiting until Valentine’s Day to spread around the love. The gallery is hosting the group show “Big Love” in the month of February. It features works inspired by the things we love the most, and opens with a reception from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday.

While we’re on the subject of group shows: If they’re your bailiwick, you’ll want to head to Sage Custom Framing and Gallery, which will host an opening reception for “Abstractions” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. As its name implies, the two-month exhibit features works by a variety of Central Oregon Artists exploring their own definitions of the term abstract.

North Soles Footwear of Bend, 800 NW Wall St., will continue its show of works by Langford Barksdale and John Brown, titled “Paintings from the Playground,” whose themes parallel in opening the imagination and returning to the playfulness of childhood.

Speaking of footwear and playgrounds, with a high predicted to be in the 50s, winter appears to have retreated once again — making for a pedestrian-friendly First Friday Gallery Walk.