First Thursday

at The Art Nucleus, 1905 NW 26th;
Newspace, 1632 SE 10th;
Motel Gallery, NW Couch between 5th & 6th

First Thursday falls on April Fools this month, which means that the Pearl District will be crawling with fools trying to see how many lookie-loos can squeeze into an art gallery on the worst day of the month to see art. If you want the whole First Thursday experience but don't feel like competing with the P.F. Chang crowd, check out these other non-Pearly galleries with openings tonight.

The Art Nucleus--This new-ish gallery in the NW presents Wars Mars Sars, a multimedia exhibition by Jackie Sumell. When she was a grad student in San Francisco a few years ago, Sumell stirred up a little press with an anti-Bush public collaboration. The artist asked people to shave their own bushes and to mail in the curly trims, which she bagged and hung on a clothesline. I'm all for a little balls 'n' beaver haircut, but why would anyone want to see a bunch of baggies full of pubes? Maybe if she had somehow sculpted all the curlies into a bust of our president or something, but baggies? Sumell's new exhibition is billed as "The New Unstoppable Fighting Techniques," but as far as we can tell, there is zero connection with the transgressive comic strip of the same name.

Newspace--David Scheinbaum kicks off the first of three Music in Photography exhibitions at the Newspace Gallery. Scheinbaum is a New Mexico photographer who writes about his introduction to hippety hop in 2000 when he drove his son and friends to see Del The Funky Homosapien. After that, he was coronated Cool Dad Numero Uno and was kicking a big Flava Flav clock around his neck the following week. Scheinbaum began shooting all the hiphop acts that came through New Mexico, as well as the audience and culture that surrounds the music. So check it out, boo-boo heads.

Motel Gallery--The one can't-miss exhibition this month is at Motel Gallery, where local treasure Bwana Spoons presents Moonpop with his sidekick Flower Frankenstein. There are almost more low-brow, illustration-based artists in this town than there are hippies, but Spoons is the artist who leads the charge. The only things that can match his hallucinatory cartoon imagination are his deft painting skills and sense of killer pictorial storytelling. CHAS BOWIE