It's that time of the month again— First Thursday time, and tonight looks like it'll be a good one. While there are boatloads of art events tonight, I've chosen three to talk about, and I hope you'll go check 'em out.

Ashley Sloans Untitled, on view at Tribute Gallery
  • Ashley Sloan's "Untitled," on view at Tribute Gallery

This month's big buzz surrounds Play for Keeps, a group show at the Tribute Gallery (328 NW Broadway #117, reception from 6-9 pm)— and the buzz can probably be attributed to Ashley Sloan's involvement in the show. She's a contributor at local photo blog, OPENWIDEpdx, which has documented just about every noteworthy exhibit to hit a Portland wall in the last year. Sloan will be showing works on paper; penciled illustrations which center around disembodied renderings of hair. Additionally, Josh MacNair of Baltimore, MD will be showing some playful illustrations of monsters, and other scary-things-made-cuddly.

Sculpture by Thadeus Lutz, on view at Seven Planet
  • Sculpture by Thadeus Lutz, on view at Seven Planet

Where Play for Keeps has a strong buzz behind it, Thadeus Lutz's Instrument Series at Seven Planet (412 NW Couch, reception from 5-9 pm) sits on the other end of the spectrum, weighing in at under-publicized. Lutz's sculptures appear to explore the ambiguous quality of words, illustrating the multiple objects which a single word can represent. Presumably exploring the word "axe," Lutz fashioned a guitar neck with the blade of a traditional, lumber-cultivating axe at its base— a sort of physical pun which "shreds" in multiple ways.

Assemblage by Lee Hale, on view at Nine Gallery
  • Assemblage by Lee Hale, on view at Nine Gallery

Lastly, Lee Hale's Mind if I Smoke opens tonight at the Nine Gallery (122 NE 8th Ave, reception from 6-9 pm). Hale uses this exhibit as a chance to reconcile memories of his mother, who was an avid smoker up until her 1996 death. His medium is the cigarette, often lipstick-stained, and used to an assemblage-based, sculptural end. In the press release for the show, Hale writes, "it was years before I could handle or, what was worse, buy [cigarettes], but once I did I was quickly seduced by their sensual aspects, the delicacy of the paper, the smell of the tobacco, and the colors imparted by lipstick and flame. Part of me remained repulsed by them, but I could not deny, nor escape, their beauty."

Alright, have fun tonight, everyone!