Legend City Studios, located in downtown Phoenix on Fifth Avenue and Van Buren Street, will host what artist Randy Slack describes as “the barometer of what’s happening in downtown Phoenix.”
More than 60 artists will be involved in the free, one-night public show from 6 p.m. to midnight, featuring painting, photography and sculpture. The only stipulation is that artists show something reflective of their most current style, said James Angel, who founded the first Chaos Theory with Slack and David Dauncey.
“(It’s) a time for people to kind of take risks and step out of the box a bit and not stay so safe,” Slack said. “It’s more of an avant-garde thing.”
Over the years, Chaos Theory has grown alongside the art community in downtown Phoenix. The event started in 2000 with 13 artists.
“Every year, it seems to get better,” Angel said. “Artists are maturing with the show.”
Joseph Perez, a Phoenix native who is fan of the show, will display his artwork at Chaos Theory for the first time. His painting represents the transition he recently made after moving to Chicago for art school.
“I’m very proud of my roots,” Perez said.
“As an up-and-coming artist, Chaos Theory is one of those shows that I’ve seen and I was like, ‘Whoa, (those are) some of the top artists in Phoenix,’” he said. “I would love to be a part of that show.”
Chaos Theory started as a monthly event on First Fridays but later turned into an annual event, compacting a year’s worth of art into one jam-packed night.
Secondary-education junior Ian Murphy said he has gone to Chaos Theory the last three years and plans on attending this year. The number of prominent Phoenix artists in one showing is unique, he said. Because the event occurs only once a year, there is much more excitement leading up to the event.
“It’s (about) getting the artwork out there … and potentially expanding the audience,” Dauncey said of the show’s continuation.
After a year of preparation, Slack said he looks forward to the day of the show like it’s Christmas morning.
Chaos Theory lives up to its name, as Slack frantically hangs up art pieces less than a day before the event. Pieces have shown up Thursday still wet, but Slack said that’s just part of the event.
“It’s gotten worse now, because we used to do it the night before, but now … the majority of it gets hung Friday morning,” he said.
This year’s lineup is set to feature local artists such as Colin Chillag, known for his hyper-realistic and unfinished portraits, Joe Willie Smith, a mixed-media artist who uses found objects, and muralist JB Snyder. Other Phoenix artists include Cindy Dach, Kristin Baur and Jules Demetrius.
All proceeds from art sales go to the artists.
“It’s like this amazing happening,” Slack said. “There’s this good vibe in the air because it’s just for art’s sake.”
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