Downtown's First Friday (Oct. 5)

Categories: Fun

Art walks are more often about people watching and shenanigans and less about the actual art. We're here to guide you through both. Presenting our very own Field Guide -- an evolving guide to art walks around town.

From time to time, we'll introduce some of our favorite spots and dish out some insider information. If you have any tips or tricks, share 'em in the comments section.

Here's a peek at our guide to Downtown's First Friday for October 6...

illustration by Claire Lawton
click on the image (or right here) for a full-sized version or find one in a few of the galleries and coffee shops in downtown Phoenix.

More hints after the jump ...

Just a few on the Map:

Por Vida Gallery
-Ishmael Duenas @ Por Vida

Ishmael Duenas grew up in Phoenix alongside much of the crew he hangs out with today. As he installed his latest collection of work at Por Vida Gallery on Wednesday night, the artist described meeting Thomas "Breeze" Marcus (who co-owns Por Vida) and Miles MacGreggor (El Mac) in high school. The artists were mentors to each other and to the class of artists younger than they were, and for years, they created work on walls, train cars, canvas -- any material that would hold paint.

Duenas stepped away from the graffiti world when he enrolled at ASU, got married and had a kid, but continued painting and stayed in touch with his hometown crew. Duenas describes his latest series of overlapping, cartoonish buildings as inspired by home, but not taken from anywhere specific. He's been putting his work in the public realm -- through graffiti, public murals, and mentoring young artists -- for so long that the name of his show, "Living for the City" was a natural choice. Check out his work and influences tonight at Por Vida on 16th Street. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Legend City Studios
Chaos Theory @ Legend City Studios
The lineup for the annual "Chaos Theory" at Legend City Studios takes local artist Randy Slack nearly a year to put together. Local artists have been invited by Slack to show their work in past years, but as the event has grown in popularity and attendance, his inbox is filled almost constantly with requests to participate. He asks a handful of artists who bring whatever artwork they choose and he hangs it all a night or two before the show. "Chaos Theory 13" will take over 521 West Van Buren Street on Friday, October 5, from 6 p.m. to midnight (ish).

Participating artists include the painters of 3CarPileUp crew (Slack, James Angel, and David Dauncey) along with fellow local painters Casebeer, Colin Chillag, Abby Messmer, Brian Boner, Colton Brock, Carrie Marill, photographers Dayvid LeMmon and William LeGoullon, sculptors Mike Prepsky and Pete Deise, and mixed media artists Steve Gompf, Tara Logsdon, and Lori Fenn (to name a few).

See also: Chaos Theory 13: Randy Slack Decides Not to Accept Suzanne Falk's Painting -- Is it Censorship? (NSFW)

Boundary Signs, a photo from Jen Urso's Saying No at Modified Arts.

Jen Urso @ Modified Arts
The art installations created by Jen Urso are some of the most unique works in the Valley. In 2005, she arranged bits of chipped and broken concrete around the Icehouse to represent the decay of Phoenix's urban core. And in 2006, the 38-year-old artist covered Modified Arts with an enormous web of white bakery string that was connected to a small handmade notebook. Urso's latest installation Saying No, which opens tonight at Modified, fits in well with her penchant for odd and unusual pieces, as well as her yen for art with complex symbolism. Read more ...

illustration by Claire Lawton
Other Useful Information:​

• There is a ton going on, so get there early, find a parking spot, get a snack (and a water bottle), and pace yourself.

•The Phoenix Art Museum has great parking (and great art, go figure).

• On-street parking is limited along Fifth and Sixth streets. Or if you can nab a spot, check out the free street parking on Grand Avenue.

• For our 25th month of stickers we're celebrating with a little trick-or-treat and bringing back a few of our favorite stickers from the last two years (AH!). Pick one (or two) up at one of the galleries listed on our map.

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Put that painting in Alwun House's Exotic Show - that's perfect for it.


James Hunt, Daniel Funkhouser, Travis Vallance, Shona Crawford, Chet Lawton and more at Burnt Sky Studios 3rd St and McKinley


Hey, bummer news, Trunk Space isn't actually going to be open tonight, we thought we were going to get to extend the Ladies First touring art show another week, but it had to be sent back to the road early. Sorry. Plan now is to hit the streets and do some flyering/postering instead. Recommend Bikini for your after walk crawl tho!

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