Downtown Phoenix's First Friday: An Illustrated Guide to April 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 April 5 ...

More hints after the jump ...

See also: - Arts and Drafts Brings Original Ansel Adams Photographs to World of Beer in Tempe - Casebeer's "The Sentence Camera" Explores Human Dialogue, Snapshots, and Sharpie Markers at Tilt Gallery - The Phoenix Wayzgoose: A Celebration of Letterpress (and Swap Meet/Auction of Goods!)

On the Map:

"Mixed Messages" @ Modified Arts If you agree that there's nothing quite like seeing artwork by a creative power couple side by side, then you're in for a treat. Phoenix-based artists Kristin Bauer and Emmett Potter have shown work together before, but not since the closing of their Scottsdale pop-up Squeeze Gallery. This month, the duo shows new work in "Mixed Messages" at Modified Arts.

Both artists work in a variety of media and draw inspiration from pop culture. Potter's latest work focuses on mass marketing and consumerism -- as well as humor, love, and blindness -- through contemporary comic book and pop culture imagery. Bauer's new artwork includes a series of references to iconic artistic and literary works, which she interprets in a multi-paneled installation. With it, she poses the question: "Does time and our understanding of artistic and cultural human evolution move forward in a linear aspect, do we circle back in on ourselves, or does our cultural movement through time form quizzical lines through which new shapes and form emerge when scattered points of the past and present combine?"

We Are New Here: Butte Gods and Cactus Saints @ Combine Studios Nao Matsunga says he is challenged by the unknown. The Japanese emerging artist is known for his textured clay sculptures that mimic architectural and natural forms. Matsunga visited ASU Art Museum as part of the "Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking the Contemporary Craft Field" series and returns this month with a collection of work inspired by his experiences with the Arizona desert.

"Scream Queens" @ monOrchid An art gallery isn't usually where horror and sci-fi movie buffs are found, but if they're paying attention to the upcoming lineup of visual art in the Valley, they'll head to monOrchid's Bokeh Gallery to check out "Scream Queens."

The exhibition is a series of photographs by David Miller that include models "conceptually using 20th century pop cultural references in an attempt to critique old attitudes, appreciate past art forms, and replicate styles as faithfully as possible," according to Bokeh curator Justin Germain.

Off the Map: Caramelpalooza @ UNION at the Biltmore Tonight night's the night, people! Caramelpalooza 2013 is here: Friday, April 5, 7 p.m. (and don't dawdle, the caramel's gone fast in previous years). If you haven't already bought tickets, no worries -- there will be plenty for sale at the event: $10 for five tickets, with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Humane Society. Remember, the location has changed: This year's event will go down on the east side of BIltmore Fashion Park, outside UNION, the new home of Smeeks candy store. Check out our illustrated guide to Carmelpalooza right here.

Useful Hints:

• 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.

• It's our last limited-edition jackalope sticker by Randy Slack. Pick one (or two) up at one of the galleries listed on our map.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

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