The light of First Thursday

Many of us are not paying attention. Some of us drive cars over curbs, some have boogers in our moustaches, while others think corduroy sports coats are smart and sexy, and still some even dismiss the Pearl District’s art scene as dry and boring. Well, it’s time to wake up, pull my finger and start paying attention because the Pearl is pumping fresh blood and farting rainbows.

For those who are too busy to make the trip, here is a brief review of what galleries and artists are totally awesome this month. Plus, if you stick around I’ll also tell you what totally farts dust.

Cooler than a polar bear’s toenail is the Brontosaurus show at Compound Gallery (107 N.W. Fifth Ave.) Bwana Spoons, Tim Biskup and Apak turn an inane dinosaur-themed show into the finest over-the-edge zoologically psychedelic pop art. Surrounded by vivid colors and sharp, smooth brush strokes on wood and paper, the Rainbowasaurus Slide stands in the center as a monument to all things awesome. The slide is fully functional and scientifically proven to kick ass. Bwana, the inventor and artist, rode that slide until the wee hours of the show’s opening.

Across the street in the Motel Gallery, Jill Bliss has exploded with a show she calls "Soft Rock." It is true that David Hasselhoff, Michael Bolton and John Tesh are extraordinary soft rockers, but Bliss can kick all their pansy tootsie holes. Her show has plushy, stuffed and covered with vintage floral-print bed sheet fabric rocks and stones scattered about the floor. Above the soft rock garden, her mixed-media collages explore the same floral print and stitching theme. Unfortunately, due to a bad case of cheesiness I must say "This Ms. Bliss Rocks!"

Visiting from San Francisco, Bliss has even published a full-color book of Californian native wildflowers; if you want to cry over something beautiful go to OTSU (4181 S.E. Division St.) and grab this eco-groovy book.

If you enjoy filling the bottomless void inside you with visual art, go to the Everett Station Lofts (625 N.W. Everett St.) Here you will always find art by those who are young, ambitious and so busy clawing their way to the top that they have no idea they are climbing a mountain of pure poop. Occasionally, and maybe accidentally, an artist with fresh ideas sticks out like a corn kernel amongst the pile of poop. At Milk Studio, Jesse Reno presented a multi-layered and truly exciting body of work. Many of his mixed-media paintings have four or more completed layers of melancholy characters hiding under a final coat of bright merry-go-round colors.

The crochet artist Shanon Schollian has brought a truly inspirational collection to the Shift studio. Schollian’s work is straight out of rural Oregon. Each stitch, each character, each texture reveals rich and sincere emotion, while glorifying the oddity within normality.

For the person who needs a boost in the old ego, I suggest surrounding her or himself with dry and completely impeding art. Artwork of this style can always be found at Backspace Gallery/computer game center (115 N.W. Fifth Ave.) Currently a collection of blah-blah-blah passionless art, including a Joseph Cornell box rip-off artist, has formed to justify your suicide. The only redeeming piece in the show is the free bathroom, which reeks of raw passion.

In this world of incompetence and mediocrity, it is sometimes necessary to conserve your attention. On the First Thursday of every month, however, it is time to pay. Pay attention! To assist your attention expenditures, seek guidance from the rainbows bursting out though Poop Mountain. Don’t give up.