Floating Homes of Vanport by Calvin Ross Carl, on view at Half/Dozen
  • Calvin Ross Carl
  • "Floating Homes of Vanport" by Calvin Ross Carl, on view at Half/Dozen

If last week's Last Thursday attendance is any indicator, tonight's First Thursday artwalk should be packed. I've combed through the west side offerings and picked a few openings that stand out from the crowd.

After the jump: Half/Dozen presents Calvin Ross Carl's Purple Mountain Majesty; PDX Contemporary brings in Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen to debut The Classroom; Tender Loving Empire presents Rad Hatter, a show of hats decorated by local and regional artists; Grass Hut's Bad Strength is the drawings and paintings of Tim and Tigerlily Biskup, and Some Ghosts I Have Known is the woodcuts of Theo Ellsworth (co-curated by Hungry Eyeball); both Compound Gallery and Fifty24PDX service the cyclist crowd via bike-inspired art; and as a big added bonus, Shepard Fairey— creator of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster— is spinning as DJ Diabetic at Ground Kontrol, starting at 10 pm.

Pics and details below.

Hankie Rag by Calvin Ross Carl
  • Calvin Ross Carl
  • "Hankie Rag" by Calvin Ross Carl

My top pick of the night goes to Calvin Ross Carl's Purple Mountain Majesty, presented by Half/Dozen (opening from 6-9 pm at 625 NW Everett St #111). Carl explores the fears and anxieties stemming from the workplace, questioning the progress commonly associated with labor. The vehicles for Carl's observations are various objects coated in colors and patterns designated by the U.S. government to signify "hazardous areas in the workplace." Carl explains this color code: "Yellow and black is a physical hazard, blue and white is a water hazard, yellow and magenta is a radioactive hazard, etc.." Like the caution-orange handkerchief pictured above, Carl transforms "workplace ordinance into formalist trope."

Color Plot III, Moby Dick by Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen
  • PDX Contemporary
  • "Color Plot III, Moby Dick" by Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen

Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen pieced together The Classroom over at PDX Contemporary (opening from 6-8 pm at 925 NW Flanders), using sculpture, text, and works on paper to represent "the politics and aesthetics of education." The above piece, entitled "Color Plot III, Moby Dick," is a color analysis of the Herman Melville classic. While I have no clue what the colors correspond to within the text, I do see a connection to the "aesthetics of education," as Moby Dick is often pushed as central to a well-rounded schooling.

Hat by Jessica Bonin
  • Tender Loving Empire
  • Hat by Jessica Bonin

At the intersection of art and apparel, Tender Loving Empire's Rad Hatter consists of "over 50 hats customized by some of the northwest's raddest artists." The show opens from 6-10 pm, a full list of artists can be found here, and Tender Loving Empire is located at 412 SW 10th Ave.

  • Grass Hut

From 6-9 pm inside Floating World Comics (20 NW 5th Ave #101), Grass Hut is hosting two openings: Bad Strength, featuring the drawings and paintings of Tim and Tigerlily Biskup (Tigerlily is Tim's daughter), and Some Ghosts I Have Known, made up of woodcuts by Theo Ellsworth (pictured above). And if you make your way over there, don't miss Floating World's Polaroid exhibit, guest curated by "Polaroid junkie" Rikki Barney.

Sculpture by Jud Turner
  • Compound Gallery
  • Sculpture by Jud Turner

Across the street from Floating World and Grass Hut, two bike-inspired group shows will be on view tonight. Compound is hosting Pedal Power (open from 7-10 pm at 107 NW 5th), and Upper Playground's Fifty24PDX (23 NW 5th Ave) is having a closing reception for Totally Spoked from 6-9 pm.