Slideluck Potshow: A Sampling of Art, Food, and Community in Downtown Phoenix

Categories: Visual Art
potshow4.jpg
photo by Jonathan McNamara
Slideshow Potluck founder Casey Kelbaugh
A series of images from local and international artists flashed on a large projection screen in downtown Phoenix's Icehouse over the weekend.

The showcase of work from nearly 30 artists -- curated by Davin Lavikka of Method Art gallery in Scottsdale and Wayne Rainey of Holgas Art Commune and monOrchid gallery in downtown Phoenix -- was presented in the typical manner of a traveling art/food show called Slideluck Potshow.

The event's been running (in a variety of sizes and cities) for the past decade and orchestrated by Seattle-based photographer Casey Kelbaugh, and aims to bring communities together with homemade food and great local art.

In Phoenix, there was a little bit of both.

potshow.jpg
photo by Jonathan McNamara
After eating (check out the potluck fare on Chow Bella), mingling, and dibsing the chairs that were set up in the Icehouse's main room, Slideluck Potshow attendees and a few participating artists sat in front of the screen.

The 90-minute show was a combination of 3- to 5- minute mini-compilations of each artist's work that were backed by music and organized by Lavikka and Rainey.

It was an informal event: people laughed and clapped after a series of rodeo photographs by Lance Rosenfield, compositions by Ramy Sidarous, and circus-themed work by Matthew Gordon Yates. Others cheered during a humorous audio/visual presentation by Kristina Diamond. A few even walked out during longer, 80s-type photo-animations by Kyle Jenkins and a long series of leaves by Jennifer Beavers.

Shows included images of abstract paintings, portraits of family members, and almost disposable-camera-looking travel photography. The range of topic was about as wide as talent and there didn't seem to be much of a planned order -- a few series blended right into others and background songs were cut off and blasted right back in.

A number of the artist names that flashed at the end of each series weren't familiar to local artists and art advocates; Slideluck Potshow producer Richard Ross said afterward that one-third of the artists were from Phoenix, while the other two-thirds of the show were by Tucson artists or rehashed presentations from other slideshows.

potshow8.jpg
photo by Jonathan McNamara
Behind the potluck tables was a line of framed artwork for auction, including photographs by Luis Salazar, curator Davin Lavikka, and Matthew Gordon Yates. And a bucket at the front collected admission and donations.

The show's proceeds benefited the Downtown Phoenix Public Market (though many attendees said they thought their donations were going to the "Save the Icehouse" fund to salvage the building slated to close in 2011).

Ross says he hopes to bring more Slideluck potshows to the Valley and has his sights set on Scottsdale for the next edition. We're hoping a few more artists apply -- and bring better food.

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