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Throwback to one of Randy Slack's earlier "Chaos Theory" paintings.EXPAND
Throwback to one of Randy Slack's earlier "Chaos Theory" paintings.
Randy Slack/Photo by Lynn Trimble

Here's Your Guide to October First Friday in Phoenix

The local arts landscape has plenty to offer this month, with intriguing exhibits happening all around the Valley. First Friday will be your first chance to see several new art shows, which tackle everything from misguided machismo to animal rights.

It’s also a great night to find visual art paired with performance, with offerings ranging from a Philip Glass opera to sound art created using found objects and technology.

We’ve organized fresh exhibits by area to help you see more art in less time. And we’ve put together a list of must-see shows in case you’re looking for tips on where to start your First Friday adventures.

See works by Sama Alshaibi at ASU Northlight Gallery.
See works by Sama Alshaibi at ASU Northlight Gallery.
Sama Alshaibi

Must-See exhibits

“Chaos Theory”
Legend City Studios
521 West Van Buren Street

It’s the 20th year for the group show organized by Randy Slack, which will feature works by up to 80 artists this year. The art community turns out in full force for the event, which is part showcase of local talent and part social gathering for the creative crowd. First Friday hours at Legend City Studios are 6 p.m. to midnight.

“Person Perception Persona”
ASU Northlight Gallery
605 East Grant Street

Portraiture raises important questions about who is portrayed in art and who is doing the portraying. See how several artists approach photographic art with this exhibit that prompts reflection on identity, gaze, and cultural appropriation. First Friday hours at ASU Northlight Gallery are 6 to 10 p.m. An artist talk featuring Sama Alshaibi and Miguel A. Aragón starts at 6:30 p.m.

See works inspired by masks at First Studio.EXPAND
See works inspired by masks at First Studio.
First Studio

Central Corridor

“Water the Daisies”
FOUND:RE Phoenix
1101 North Central Avenue

Head to the lounge at FOUND:RE Phoenix to see a new series of works by local artist Isse Maloi, who layers imagery with hand-drawn flowers that remind him of the imperative to “be mindful of the things we need to take care of.” First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

“Masked”
First Studio
631 North First Avenue

Co-curators Ellen Nemetz and Kris Kollasch selected works by more than 30 artists for this exhibit exploring disguises, false appearances, and other types of hidden identity. Participating artists include Edna Dapo, Kayla Fernando, Mike Fritz, Val Kossak, Aylin Yin, and Phillip Zerbe. First Friday hours at First Studio are 6 to 10 p.m.

“Modern Paradigm”
New City Studio
1300 North Central Avenue

New City Studio is showing more than 30 artworks created by Edward Dennis during the past year, which reflect his eclectic interests ranging from children’s literature to cycling. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m.

Cindy Schnackel with a work in progress.EXPAND
Cindy Schnackel with a work in progress.
Cindy Schnackel

Grand Avenue

“Lower Life Forms”
Sisao Gallery
1501 Grand Avenue

See new works by Cindy Schnackel, who elevates the importance of birds and other creatures that some consider lower life forms. She often places them in human situations with unexpected results. First Friday hours are Sisao Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m.

“Looking Back”
Five15 Arts
1301 Grand Avenue

Daniel Prendergast will be showing drawings, paintings, and photographs that explore “the mysteries of nature, time’s changes, duality, the goddess, animism, and pareidolia." First Friday hours at Five15 Arts at Chartreuse are 6 to 10 p.m.

“Blur”
{9} The Gallery
1229 Grand Avenue

Head to {9} The Gallery to see a solo exhibition featuring works by Benjam, who reimagines works by Old Masters as he considers how their works might have shifted in the current political and social climate. First Friday hours are 6 to 10 p.m.

Open Studios
Grand ArtHaus
1501 Grand Avenue

See works by several artists working in different mediums inside the shared gallery and studio space at Oasis on Grand, where several artists will be on hand to discuss their work. First Friday hours at Grand ArtHaus are 6 to 10 p.m.

Smaller Works by Michael Viglietta
Trans Am Café
1506 Grand Avenue

See abstract works by Michael Viglietta at Trans Am Café, where First Friday hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. He creates mixed-media art with layers that reflect the ways personal, social, cultural, and environmental landscapes are constantly evolving.

The New Art of Abe Zucca
Abe Zucca Gallery
1301 Grand Avenue

Abe Zucca is showing new paintings and previous works, which include portraits, landscapes, abstracts, and narrative pieces. First Friday hours at Abe Zucca Gallery are 6 to 11 p.m.

Checking out "Room of Talking Patterns" in Roosevelt Row.EXPAND
Checking out "Room of Talking Patterns" in Roosevelt Row.
Xico Arte y Cultura

Roosevelt Row

“Kindred”
Modified Arts
407 East Roosevelt Street

See Margaret Zox Brown’s series featuring portraits of New Yorkers, which are meant to reflect the humanity of both her subjects and the city. First Friday hours at Modified Arts are 6 to 10 p.m.

“Room of Talking Patterns”
Xico Hot Box Shipping Container Gallery
918 North Second Street

Xico Arte y Cultura is presenting three exhibitions in its shipping container gallery space, including this show featuring work by RoKa Projects, a mother and daughter collaboration by Kaori and Romi Takamura. The show features more than 1,000 wooden objects painted with familiar patterns culled from childhood iconography, which are designed to prompt joy and wonder. First Friday hours at the Hot Box gallery space are 6 to 10 p.m.

“True Expression”
Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral
100 West Roosevelt Street

Olney Gallery is showing works by Karolina Adams and Bela Fidel. Adams uses ink and graphite to explore issues related to self-awareness. Fidel works with oils, encaustics, and plaster to tackle questions related to self-expression. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

See "Geometry in Motion" at ASU Step Gallery,
See "Geometry in Motion" at ASU Step Gallery,
Rowan Burkam

More Art Shows

“Geometry of Motion”
ASU Step Gallery
605 East Grant Street

Artist Rowan Burkam is showing work meant to heighten viewer awareness about perceptions of reality and truth, while demonstrating the ways “multiple truths can occupy the same space at the same time,” even amid a cultural landscape marked by oppositional perspectives. First Friday hours at ASU Step Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m.

“Chingona Soles”
Luna Culture Lab
803 East Washington Street

More than four dozen black stilettos transformed into art objects form the basis for this exhibit at Luna Culture Lab, where shoes are auctioned off to benefit the Los Diablos scholarship at ASU. The exhibit and the related fashion show are free. First Friday hours are 6 to 11 p.m.

JoEl Rivera
Exposed Studio & Gallery
4225 North Seventh Street

See an exhibition featuring works by JoEl Rivera, as well as several additional artists including Gregg Edelman, Chris Hudson, Vikki Reed, and Michelle Allan. First Friday hours at Exposed Studio & Gallery are 6 to 9 p.m.

Getting up close with a work by Jeff Slim spotted at Hosh Gallery.EXPAND
Getting up close with a work by Jeff Slim spotted at Hosh Gallery.
Jeff Slim/Photo by Lynn Trimble

Art + Performance

“Monsters Menagerie”
Alwun House
1204 East Roosevelt Street

Look for an eclectic assortment of “grotesque and profane art” by local artists working in diverse mediums at Alwun House, where artist Joe Willie Smith will perform using his work of sculptural sound art. First Friday hours are 7 to 10 p.m.

New Work by Jeff Slim
Hosh Gallery at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore
1738 East McDowell Road

Artist Jeff Slim, whose work explores the intersection of pop culture with indigeneity, will be showing new paintings at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, where you can also hear music spun by The Crate Creepers. First Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m.

“Proudly I Stand”
Art Gallery at Herberger Theater Center
222 East Monroe Street

See works by 20 artists working in diverse mediums, including Bob Booker, Charmayne Danton, Sue Hunter, Elizabeth Moore, and Pamela Root. The opening reception includes a musical performance by Oliverio Balcells. First Friday hours are 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Herberger Theater Center will present arts and cultural offerings with an Oktoberfest theme on its outdoor courtyard.

Underground Poetry Slam
Outside Evolve Art Space
918 North Second Street

Lawn Gnome Publishing founder Aaron Hopkins-Johnson is presenting a poetry slam featuring 16 competitors outside the former Revolver Records building that’s now home to the Evolve art space. The free event runs from 9 p.m. to midnight, and you’ll want to bring your blanket or chair.

“PieceWork”
At Central Gallery at Burton Barr Central Library
1221 North Central Avenue

Arizona School for the Arts will be presenting a musical performance during the First Friday reception for this exhibit featuring works by Bob Allen and Dawn Conry. The reception at Burton Barr Central Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Taking Chances
Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue

Hear stories by five locals, curated by the Real Love Real Stories podcast, between 6:30 to 8 p.m. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., you can hear live music from Canyon Records artists in the Crossroads Gallery. First Friday hours at Heard Museum are 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets for the storytelling event are $5.

Einstein on the Beach
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue

The Openscore Ensemble at Paradise Valley Community College is presenting a 1975 opera by Philip Glass in collaboration with several visual, theater, and media arts creatives. The performance runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at Phoenix Art Museum, where First Friday hours 6 to 10 p.m. 

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