* Cover to Cover Book Club Quilters
The Cover to Cover Book Club Quilters is a group of artists who use literature--in this case Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me Ultima and The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales--and produce interpretive quilts based on their readings. Seventeen quilts are on view this month. Littman Gallery at Portland State University, Smith Center, 1825 SW Broadway, 725-5656, Opening Thursday, 5-7 pm, runs through Jan. 26

* Black Panthers 1968
If you apply to the linear model of history, Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch's photographs in Black Panthers 1968 are interesting and safe. The pictures are aesthetically pleasing, and you can easily piece together a bit of what the past might have been like. The Black Panthers were outsiders in their own time, vilified by the media and the government, but today their images can seem almost cliché. Like many images of the '60s, they have been co-opted by endless marketing campaigns and glossy movies. By imprisoning the Black Panthers in the past, these pictures only reinforce the apparent failure of their project and its distance from our contemporary world. More interesting is to approach the exhibit as the great critic Walter Benjamin might have approached it, allowing the images to seep into what he called the "now of recognizability." Free history from a dead past and let it invade our present--a present, by the way, which is becoming increasingly linked to the battles and concerns of the Black Panthers. RD Cooley Gallery at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7790, Through Feb. 20

Pantyhose Animals
Lisa Beyer hopes "to do for soft sculpture what Roy Lichtenstein did for comic art." Her four-legged funky creations are hand-sewn, costumed, and fashioned loosely after friends whom she keeps in mind during the animals' creations. Mabel's Cafe & Knittery, 3041 SE Division, Through February

* Super Goop
Brand new art space V-Gun holds much promise, as their exhibitions are co-curated by artists Bruce Conkle and Marne Lucas. Their first show comes from Portland's thickest painter, Jesse Hayward, who loads more paint onto a single canvas than most painters use in their whole career. V-Gun, 412 SW Fourth Ave., 503-226-3400, Opens Friday, 6-9 pm. Closes March 13

* The Folks Are Real Friendly Here
The year kicks off quirkily at Half & Half courtesy of the folks at Portland's Bathtub Art Museum. This month, 100 tub-themed postcards are on view, and next month the collection shifts to a plumbing supply store on Burnside. Half & Half, 923 SW Oak, 503-222-4495, Through Jan. 31