Alex Chius Watery Eyes, on view at Grass Hut
  • Grass Hut
  • Alex Chiu's "Watery Eyes," on view at Grass Hut

It'll be interesting to see how tonight's First Thursday crowds mingle with Occupy Portland protesters. The Westside art walk will be happening in its usual Pearl-centric locations, though protesters began gathering today at high noon in Waterfront Park, just blocks away from many galleries.

It wouldn't be surprising if the two events end up “occupying” some shared spaces downtown, especially as cops are now estimating the protest to be 5,000 strong.

All of this priming is to say, it might not be a bad idea to read Denis' recap on Occupy Portland's recent “Know Your Rights” meeting— and keep up with our liveblog— because if you inadvertently get caught up in the protest during your First Thursday travels, you might have to know how to handle yourself around the police. (Don't freak out though, it sounds like things between cops and protesters are going fine at the moment). Also, if you plan on taking public transportation to First Thursday, check on Trimet's service alerts to make sure your trip won't be delayed.

Now that we've gotten THAT out of the way...

Damien Gilley has metallic laser-cuts over at Eva Lake's pop-up gallery, The Independent. In the same space, Midori Hirose is displaying mixed-media sculptures in a show titled Boners and Blobs. Meanwhile, Grass Hut is serving up cartoonist Alex Chiu's “laser eyes, rainbow clumps, poop, guts, and veiny eyeballs.” Hmm. So we've got laser drawings and drawings of lasers. Let's see if we can't find more lasers after the jump!

Melissa Loopss Mixing Old and New

Those colors ribboning the sky look like almost-lasers to me! The above painting is Melissa Loop's “Mixing Old and New” from her solo show at Breeze Block, Utopian Hideaways for the Jet-Setter. With the show, Loop's commenting on the fantasy of man-made environments that reach for various types of perfection. As the press release has it: “Loop invites the viewer to explore lush terrains replete with water-parks, air-conditioned mega-structures, and malls that are also churches.” 323 NW 6th. 6-10 pm.

Damien Gilleys Small Multiples

Through the month of October, Damien Gilley and Midori Hirose are sharing Eva Lake's pop-up gallery, The Independent. The two artists will speak about their work tonight at 6 pm sharp. According to The Independent's website, Gilley's Infinity Games is “a series of 2-dimensional works utilizing laser fabrication.” If you're unfamiliar with Gilley's work, he uses non-euclidean geometry to “depict abstract built environments.” And while the artist is perhaps best known for working with tape to make large-scale wall drawings (as will be featured in an upcoming issue of New American Painters), the laser-cut images are a significant change in terms of medium. 530 NW 12th. 6 pm.

Midori Hiroses L n L

Also at The Independent is Midori Hirose's Boners and Blobs, made up of mixed-media sculpture. The show sounds similar to past exhibits from Hirose, who “plays it both hard and loose, combining geo and expressionist shapes, working through a process of structure and disorder.” So, translated, that means that her sculptures look nature-y, but also like boners. Yessir! 530 NW 12th. 6 pm.

Alex Chius Lazer Cats

Over at Grass Hut, cartoonist Alex Chiu is showing up with the aforementioned “laser eyes, rainbow clumps, poop, guts, and veiny eyeballs.” There will also be new vinyl toys from Itokin Park. For more info about Chiu's work, check out an interview with the artist over at Grass Hut's blog. 400 NW Couch St. 6-9 pm.

For our visual art listings, click here— and tell us what you're going to check out in the comments!