Culture News

Here's the Lineup for 'Chaos Theory 19' in Downtown Phoenix

Lynn Trimble
Artist and "Chaos Theory" organizer Randy Slack.
Phoenix artist Randy Slack has released the lineup for "Chaos Theory 19," the upcoming installment of his annual invitational exhibition held at the 7,000-square-foot Legend City Studios in downtown Phoenix.

It includes more than 70 emerging and established artists.

Just 19 artists showed work during the first "Chaos Theory" exhibition in 2000, which was founded by Slack and fellow artists James Angel and David Dauncey. At the time, they comprised an artist collective called 3CarPileUp. They named the event for the mathematical principle that says small changes can produce big effects.

click to enlarge Joe Willie Smith showed this sculpture (center) for "Chaos Theory 18." - LYNN TRIMBLE
Joe Willie Smith showed this sculpture (center) for "Chaos Theory 18."
Lynn Trimble
Many of the artists chosen for this year's "Chaos Theory" have a long history of participating in the show. And several have been instrumental in developing the downtown arts scene. That's one reason it's become such a local arts tradition, complete with plenty of interesting art but also conversations about the city's evolving cultural landscape.

"Chaos Theory 19" opens at 6 p.m. on First Friday, October 5, and runs through midnight. The one-night-only affair, which is free to attend, includes live music by Michael Brandon Vela.

click to enlarge Here's where it all goes down. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Here's where it all goes down.
Lynn Trimble
Slack announced this year's lineup, which includes all three "Chaos Theory" founders, on his Facebook page on Tuesday, September 25. It also includes work by Steve Gompf, an artist who died in April, but left a legacy that includes "televisor" sculptures created with found objects and moving images inspired by 19th-century English photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

Several additional "Chaos Theory 19" artists, including Pete Deise and Joe Willie Smith, are best-known for sculptural works. John Randall Nelson, the artist whose 26-foot rabbit called One-Eyed Jack was just installed in Scottsdale, is also part of this year's show. Deise's latest claim to fame includes creating the city's first shipping container sculpture.

click to enlarge Looking back at one of Pete Deise's "Chaos Theory" sculptures. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Looking back at one of Pete Deise's "Chaos Theory" sculptures.
Lynn Trimble
Many of this year's participants are well-known for their mural work in and around downtown Phoenix. They include Brian Boner, Colton Brock, Andy Brown, Timothy Chapman, the Fortoul Brothers, Thomas "Breeze" Marcus, Carrie Marill, JB Snyder, and Lucretia Torva. Bill Dambrova's new mural for Valley Metro Rail was recently installed at the Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue station. And the Fortoul Brothers are working now on a sand sculpture for Phoenix Art Museum, which will be revealed the same night as "Chaos Theory 19."

Slack chose artists who work in diverse, and sometimes unusual, media. Tara Logsdon's "Chaos Theory" creations often include teddy bears set in visual narratives, and Cindy Dach often shows embroidered pieces that reflect her interests in community and desert environments. Alexandra Bowers is best-known for wood burnings depicting natural elements, and Abbey Messmer often creates pieces that reference water.

click to enlarge Then there's the "see and be seen" quality of "Chaos Theory." - LYNN TRIMBLE
Then there's the "see and be seen" quality of "Chaos Theory."
Lynn Trimble
Careful observers will spot several artists with ASU connections — including Travis Ivey, Travis Rice, Forrest Solis, and Lisa Von Hoffner. Others will notice that some "Chaos Theory" artists have their own exhibits up around town. Look for Sam Fresquez's solo exhibit at Xico Arte y Cultura, Frank Gonzalez's solo show at Desert Botanical Garden, and Joe Willie Smith's work at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. And keep an eye out for a video featuring downtown arts pioneer Annie Lopez next time you're at Phoenix Art Museum.

The "Chaos Theory 19" lineup includes dozens of additional artists distinguished by the quality of their work and influence on the Valley's cultural landscape. Here's the rest of Slack's list for 2018, which includes photographers, painters, mixed-media artists, video artists, and more.

click to enlarge Watch this wall for another Randy Slack original. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Watch this wall for another Randy Slack original.
Lynn Trimble
Sergio Aguirre, Jon Balinkie, Brent Bond, Turner G. Davis, Matt Dickson, Greg Esser, Jeff Falk, Lori Fenn, Daniel Funkhouser, Gennaro Garcia, Ruben Gonzales, Brooke Grucella, Danielle Hacche, Steven Hofberger, Johnny Jaffe, Jehu, Mayme Kratz, Carolyn Lavender, William LeGoullon, Larry Madrigal, Isse Maloi, Jacob Meders, Judith Anne Miller, Molton Brothers, Lisa Olson, Susan Olson, Sophia Maria Paz, Mitch Phillips, Mike Prepsky, Rembrandt Quiballo, Wayne Rainey, Christina Ramirez, Brad Reed, Josh Rhodes, Jesse Rieser, Hector Ruiz, Henry Schoebel, Jennyfer Stratman, Brandon Sullivan, Kaori Takamura, Rick Toerne, Shauna Thibault, Chadwick Uptain, Ellen Wagener, Ben Willis, Larry Willis, Yuko Yabuki, Mykil Zep, Abe Zucca.

If you're eager to get the pulse of the metro Phoenix arts scene, "Chaos Theory 19" is a must-see exhibition. 

"Chaos Theory 19." Friday, October 5, 6 p.m. to midnight, Legend City Studios, 521 West Van Buren Street. Free admission. Facebook: Randy Slack.