* Encyclopedia
Allen Maertz photographs libraries, natural history museums, and other public institutions in search of ways that knowledge is stored and communicated. Unlike the work of Candida Hofer, whose photographs explore similar matters, Maertz's photographs are actually interesting, which makes all the difference in the world. Blue Sky Photography Gallery, 1231 NW Hoyt St, 225-0210, Through Nov 27

Nic Walker, the ultra-prolific, hit-or-miss artist whose work traffics in death, junkyards, and mute clowns, shows his latest batch of paintings at p:ear gallery. p:ear gallery, 809 SW Alder, 228-6677, Through Nov 23

* Poison
It's now more important than ever to head out and see Poison, Brian Borello's installation in neon lights and fluorescent ink, indicting Bush, his cronies, and the other profiteers of this bullshit war. Standard Arts Window, 1715 NW Lovejoy, Through Nov 15

Printed Matter
Nova Bartlett and Rachel Wiecking, two book lovers, did what most exhibiting artists at the Powell's gallery seem to have willfully neglected--they created work that responds to the overwhelming flood of books just a few feet away. Exploring both the physicality and the contents of books in the store, the original source materials are displayed adjacent to the finished artworks. Basil Hallward Gallery at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St, 228-4651, through Nov 30

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SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30