Three must-see picks for November’s First Thursday

Fight or Flight by Corey Arnold

This week, reward the brain with some unstructured playtime courtesy of another installment of First Thursday. The Pearl District’s monthly gallery walk grants access to local, national, and international artists in a setting ripe for socialization.

Head over to Charles A. Hartman Fine Art Gallery (134 NW 8th Ave.) with friends to discuss the work of Portland-based artist Corey Arnold. His series, Wildlife, rediscovers the meaning of “awesome.” Used during Romanticism to describe nature, awesome defines a thing that simultaneously evokes admiration and fear—Arnold’s work delivers both. Expect to be drawn in by the rich colors and held captive by the creatures before you, and feel free to share your experience with Arnold. The artist will be present for the opening reception, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

At Annie Meyer Artwork Gallery (120 NW 9th Ave.), local artist Shawn Demarest exhibits Snow Day, a series of vignettes prompted by a rare heavy snowfall that descended on Portland back in February 2014. Demarest uses oil paints to depict outdoor scenes, often initially rendered on site in a technique called en plein air. Her paintings then evolve in her studio where time degrades the details of the scene causing her work to have a dream-like quality while still remaining rooted in realism. Reception for the artist runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

Upfor Gallery (929 NW Flanders St.), known for exhibits that push the boundaries of new and digital media, next presents Pigment Migrations & Suspended Refraction. This exhibit, by Japanese-born artist Akihiko Miyoshi, exploits the limitations of cameras in his latest exhibit. The now Portland-based artist incorporates changeable aspects of physical phenomena, like refracting lights thatalter the photos during exposure. View the results—abstract photographs comprised of bars of bright colors—during the opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

— Rachael Lesley

Above, Fight or Flight by Corey Arnold, 2014, Archival pigment print, 30 x 44 inches.

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