Here is what I like about art, with key words italicized: people producing something creative and then sharing it with other people.

That's exactly what Last Thursday in Alberta felt like last night. Diverse art + non-exclusive atmosphere + lots and lots of people. Thanks to a wonderful lack of top-down organization, anyone can just show up at Last Thursday, set up on NE Alberta and share whatever art they want with a mob of positive-energy Portlanders. The lack of fee and the laid-back nature of the event leads to two great things:

Great Thing #1: Lots of different kinds of art get equal footing. Low brow/High brow Gallery Art/Street Art distinctions - so not Northeast. Paintings sat on the curb right next to mobiles made from crab shells, hand-sewn dresses were right across the street from pastel on plywood drawings. An anti-exclusivity, supportive community event is just what's needed in a neighborhood tense about issues of division.

Great Thing #2: Speaking of gentrification, Last Thursday means financial greenery for all the neighbor shops. While the art galleries and coffee shops saw a lot of customers, the four Mexican restaurants were packed and people crowded the sidewalks all the way from 7th Ave to 33rd.

And now, my favorite local artists from the night:

Angy Will's untitled marmot skull with crochet from together gallery

Local sewer Arielle St. Lawrence's ruffly summer dresses make me super jealous.

I burst out laughing at this pin that reads "I'LL EAT ANY CLAM" and asked the artist to explain it to me. "Well, I've got a bachelor's sense of humor. Or maybe a clammer's sense of humor," he replied. He's from the coast. He calls himself Reverend Benny Bob.

Finally, my favorite performance of the night: Star-E Rose punk in pink hat attacking newspaper box with portable stereo.

posted by Sarah Mirk