Downtown's First Friday (Oct. 5)

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...

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.EXPAND
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.
illustration by Claire Lawton

More hints after the jump ...

Just a few on the Map:

Downtown's First Friday (Oct. 5)
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.

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)

Downtown's First Friday (Oct. 5)
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 ...

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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