Melody Owens The New Universe: Night Train
  • Melody Owen's "The New Universe: Night Train"

Tonight is the First Thursday art walk, and there are some shows that are worth a look. Melody Owen's collages (pictured above) will be presented in Letters from Switzerland at Elizabeth Leach Gallery (an adjunct location to Disjecta's Portland2010 biennial). "Featuring bisected animals spilling flowers from their guts, and hotels sprouting roots that can’t find purchase, these works allude to the deracinated experience of the contemporary traveler," reads the press release for the show, describing Owen's collages.

Rounding off a twofer, Elizabeth Leach (417 NW 9th Ave) is also hosting Re-Present, bringing together Pat Boas, Adam Chapman, Isaac Layman, Joe Park, and Xiaoze Xie. From the press release:

Through drawing, photography, painting, and video, the artists in Re-Present consider the differences between representation and perception. By re-investigating reality and decontextualizing every day objects and experiences, they elevate and examine our daily lives, uncovering the nuances of our shared experience.

Painting by Blakely Dadson
  • Painting by Blakely Dadson

Blakely Dadson is showing paintings, works on paper, and video at Chambers@916 (916 NW Flanders, opening reception from 6-9 pm). As the press release puts it, Dadson is known for using "acrylic and thread... [to transform] paint into gold." The press release continues, asserting that Dadson's "work synthesizes contemporary culture’s obsession with bling, adding an ironic twist with prominent Jesus iconography," in order to question "how we assign value to the objects around us."

Caleb Charlands Wooden Box With Horseshoe Magnet
  • Calebcharland.com
  • Caleb Charland's "Wooden Box With Horseshoe Magnet"

Caleb Charland is showing photographs at Blue Sky Gallery (122 NW 8th Ave)— the photos are a mixture of the hyper-real and the unbelievable. As shown in the photo above, Charland captures what feel like impossible moments: Nails tied to strings, levitated radially by a horseshoe magnet. According to the show's press release, "Charland assembles and conducts sculptural "experiments" by combining old tools, familiar materials, and the fundamental forces of nature," and later captures these assemblages via black and white photos.

Compounds Hana To Diamond
  • Compound's Hana To Diamond

If the high-brow stuff isn't for you, I suggest checking out Compound Gallery's Hana To Diamond, featuring Japanese painters Houxo Que and Jun Inoue (107 NW 5th Ave, from 7-10 pm). From the press release:

The boys from Tokyo have something special for you tonight. The front part of the gallery has been blacked out for Questa's black light painting. The back space has a large collaboration piece from the two artists and Jun's diamond series. After the opening, they will be live painting [at] Yes & No (next to the Tube in Old Town).

As always, there are tons of other openings to stumble upon, and if I missed something that you're all jazzed about, post about it in the comments!