Slideluck Potshow: Why Potlucks Are for Freeloaders

In 2000, Seattle-based photographer Casey Kelbaugh invited a few of his creative friends over to watch a slideshow of their artwork while enjoying some homemade dishes, potluck style.

The result, Kelbaugh says was part art, part cuisine, and lots of conversation. He continued to host the event -- even brought it to different cities. And in the past 10 years, his event dubbed Slideluck Potshow (a creative take on a slideshow and a potluck) has grown into a traveling community celebration of art and food in 20 cities worldwide.

Slideluck Potshow took over downtown's Icehouse over the weekend. You can read about the art part on Jackalope Ranch, but our main takeaway from the edible portion:

Potlucks are for freeloaders.

On the Slideluck Potshow website, attendees are encouraged to bring homemade dishes to feed at least six people. Idea being, if everyone pitches in good food, everyone eats good food.

And attendees who bought ingredients at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market (the beneficiary of funds raised during the event) were given $5 off of the $10 admission.

Unfortunately, dishes that required any sort of "ingredient shopping" were limited.

We sampled a spinach citrus salad, a few too many spicy ground beef empenadas, and a vegetable pot pie with a sweet potato topping. We even snagged a few tea sandwiches, a handful of wholegrain crackers with goat cheese, and a bite or two of a cherry tomato basil tart.

Those dishes went fast.

Evidently, to some attendees, homemade is as simple as a few frozen bonbons, a Safeway vegetable tray, a few delivered pizzas, or hell, a bucket of KFC chicken.

Large dispensers of hand sanitizer were at the end of each table.

One attendee put down a handmade pie next to a store-bought sampling of cookies and biscuits and said it was just part of the risk you take in baking for a potluck. 

Luckily, for socializing and washing down purposes, a table sponsored by Phoenix-based Old World Brewery was supplying plenty of wine and a Red Irish Ale, which kept everyone buzzing until the slideshow started.


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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton