By Ross Blanchard
Photos by Evan Orlando
Above: Trapezist Vanessa Boyd, A-WOL Dance Collective
For the exhibit’s May 2 opening night, the vaulted, lofty ceilings of the AFRU Gallery doubled as a circus tent, housing jugglers, contortionists, aerialists and other circus acts. They juggled, contorted, and hung from trapezes to promote the gallery’s First of May exhibit that highlights the carnivalesque work of several Portland and national artists.
William Batty (Noah Mickens) and his Wanderlust Circus hosted the evening. Batty’s polished ringmaster delivery and commanding voice held the sizable crowd in awe, as did aerialists from A-WOL Dance Collective, who swung from the tall gallery ceilings to the unique “tincture of junkyard folk and steampunk jazz” performed by Professor Gall.
First of May runs through June 1.
AFRU Gallery is located at 534 SE Oak Street in Portland.