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'Chaos Theory' Exhibit Won't Happen in 2020 Due to COVID-19

Throwback to the 2017 "Chaos Theory" exhibit.EXPAND
Throwback to the 2017 "Chaos Theory" exhibit.
Lynn Trimble

An annual art tradition called "Chaos Theory" won't happen this year, according to organizer Randy Slack. He's been involved with presenting the invitational exhibit every year since 1999, when he founded the group show along with a handful of fellow artists

"I can’t even possibly consider it to be honest," he told Phoenix New Times on July 30. Slack says it would be "insanely appropriate" to bring the community together for "Chaos Theory" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically the show happens during October First Friday at Legend City Studios. It's billed as a one-night-only exhibit, although smaller viewings often happen after the Friday gathering he calls an "annual festival of hugs and love."

Most Phoenix galleries and other art spaces temporarily closed due to public health concerns in mid-March. Most remain closed for now, and even First Friday art walks are taking a pandemic pause that's expected to last at least through the summer.

"Unfortunately, this is the exact time we need Chaos Theory to bring us together," Slack says. Even so, he's opting not to hold the exhibit this year. "I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I were responsible for getting my wonderful supportive family in any type of dangerous situation."

The exhibit was named for a principle in physics, by the way. The principle states that even small changes can have big effects — a phenomenon the art community will likely experience firsthand in the aftermath of COVID-19.

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