My top pick among this month's First Thursday melee: The Chromium Dumb Bell show at Galerie Salome (and you'd best check it during tonight's opening from 7-10 pm if you don't want to make an appointment). I first saw Chromium's (real name Joanne Burk) work at a Portland Garment Factory opening, and was swept away by her fantastical embroidered and appliqued magic-forest tapestries that look like what Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would have made if they'd stayed home with a needle and thread on a misty mountain and then without warning a wizard walked by:


Originally from London, Burk also wrote the 2004 book Biba Dolls about the famous '60s-'70s boutique, her illustrations for which were used as inspiration for the relaunched Biba line's spring/summer 2008 collection. Tonight she's showing Sunbonnet, inspired by the Harry Crosby poem "Sun Testament." Some of her pieces, like the neck piece above, are wearable while others are for hanging, but rumors are swirling about a forthcoming collaborative apparel line that I dearly hope will see the light of day. (Since our first meeting at the Garment Factory, Burk and her man (Dusty Sparkles of Danava) moved up the street from me, and it's not unusual to see her walking to the grocery store in outfits just like this:)