Break out the bubbly

Huge congratulations to local artist Harrell Fletcher and the recently-split-for-L.A. Miranda July for their inclusion in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. The Biennial, which is far and away the biggest show of contemporary art in America (and the standard bearer for shows that critics love to hate) opens next spring at the Whitney Museum of American Art. When we spoke with Fletcher, who is currently working in Europe, he wasn't sure if they had been chosen for their collaborative project, Learning to Love You More, for their solo projects, or for some combination thereof. Miranda July was also included in the 2002 Biennial.

* Battle of the Artist Curators
The inaugural show at Haze Gallery showcases the personal work of artists who are better known locally as curators, or who have curated at least a few local exhibitions. This includes multi-taskers such as Jeff Jahn, TJ Norris, Eva Lake, Bryan Suereth, and others, but unfortunately leaves out Nan Curtis, Bruce Conkle, Stuart Horodner, and Terry Toedtemeier. We're not sure why, but halfway through the show's run, the artists are swapping out all their work, so now you have reason to go see it twice. Haze Gallery, 6635 N. Baltimore Ste. 211, 503-283-6863, Nov. 8-Dec. 31

Plushy Huffer
Artist Ehren Adams scours thrift shops and garage sales for adorable stuffed animals, then dissects and disembowels them, and finally freeze dries them like Walt Disney in goopy plastic resin. Just in time for Christmas, no less. The Art Nucleus, 1905 NW 26th, 503-224-2582, Through Nov. 26

* The Push Project
The impact that skate culture has had on fashion, contemporary lingo, and reality TV is undeniable, and a new show in town explores its aesthetic impact on the visual arts. Eight artists, working mostly in painting and sculpture, display their work, as well as limited edition skate decks designed for the show. Compound, 11 NW 2nd, Through Nov. 30

Vinyl Killers Stencil Show
Zeitgeist has invited over 70 artists from 12 countries to participate in this "history making exhibit." The parameters are simple: each artist creates a work on an old record sleeve using stencils. This could be a great show by underground artists. Zeitgeist, 625 NW Everett #109, 971-544-1365, Through November

Joe Thurston
Last summer, at the Modern Zoo, I did a double-take when I thought I spotted a pair of canvases by famous Chicago painter Jim Nutt. Somebody informed me that, no, Nutt wasn't slumming in St. Johns, but that the paintings were by local artist Joe Thurston. The stylistic similarities between the two artists were too many to overlook, though. Here's a chance to make up your own mind. Mark Woolley East, 120 NW 9th Suite 210, 224-5475, Through Nov. 29

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