Dig My Grave On the Spot Where it Lands
One of the most exciting artists in Portland works more in the theater biz than in the art world—until now. Gabriel Liston, the visual art director for Liminal Theater's acclaimed The Resurrectory, debuts a solo exhibition of narrative-driven work, incorporating eerily beautiful paintings, wax-sealed copies of Moby Dick, and other hand-crafted props. New American Art Union, 922 SE Ankeny, 231-8294, Through Aug. 27

Elvis or Astronaut
Our favorite lil' coffee shop, Random Order, presents a pretty impressive group show in celebration of its one-year anniversary: Chris Bennett, Zak Margolis, Cynthia Star, and about a dozen more. That's a lot of good art for such a small space. Random Order Coffeehouse, 1800 NE Alberta, Through Oct. 26, opening party Aug. 24, 5-9 pm

When the first Spiderman movie premiered shortly after 9/11, writers began postulating about society's need for heroes at that point in history, acting as if the sight of Kirsten Dunst in a wet T-shirt wouldn't have been a box office draw in the summer of 2001. In the ensuing four years, however, superhero art has proliferated greatly in the realms of the visual arts, film, and literature. Compound presents an exhibition of artists from Hong Kong, Japan, and the US, each working within that theme. Compound, 107 NW 5th, Through Aug 31

Paper Arts Festival
In case you didn't have enough reason already to peace out at the stunning Japanese Garden, today features local paper artists giving hands-on demonstrations of origami, gyotaku (fish printing), Japanese paper making, and wood block printing. Japanese Garden, Washington Park, 611 SW Kingston, Sunday Aug. 21, 10 am-4 pm, $6.75

Painted Aluminum Sculpture
Mel Katz, arguably Portland's most exciting elder statesman, returns with another fine show of his painted sculptures, which look to draw their cues from Mickey Mouse, Piet Mondrian, and the sculptures of Roy Lichtenstein. Laura Russo Gallery, 805 NW 21st, 226-2754, Through Aug. 27

The Future Remnants of Dreamvilles
The first in a series of three installations, artists Jessie Rose Vala and Emily Counts have transformed Motel Gallery into a baroque living room, complete with carpeting, hand-painted wallpaper, streamers, and fairytale-inspired drawings. Motel, NW Couch between 5th & 6th, Through Aug 27

Paul Seawright
Masterful Irish photographer Paul Seawright was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to travel to Afghanistan with the intent of documenting the war. Seawright's strengths lie in his color photographs of spare, unpopulated landscapes, which a bombed-to-shit Afghanistan provided plenty of. Blue Sky Photography Gallery, 1231 NW Hoyt, 225-0210, Through Aug. 27

Summer Group Exhibition
Say goodbye to the Pearl's best carpeted gallery space as Pulliam Deffenbaugh prepares to move a few blocks east with this show of gallery artists, including Brian Borello, James Boulton, Anna Fidler, Ken Kelly, and Jeffrey Mitchell. Pulliam Deffenbaugh, 522 NW 12th, 228-6665, Through Aug. 27