First Thursday haven for creativity, inspiration

Ryan Gerdes

For those of you who think First Thursday is no more than the first Thursday of the month, please continue reading—you won’t regret it.

To art students in Oregon, First Thursday means creative bliss, creative crap and sometimes just crap.

It also means inspiration, something to gawk at or turn up your nose. The Red Bull, beer and wine is on the house.

It is a shock to many art majors that students seem oblivious of such an opportunity. Fromapproximately 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month, Portland galleries open their doors free of charge. 

“One of the benefits of First Thursday is the artists are almost always there,” sophomore Matt Statz said. “If you’re curious as to how or why they created a particular piece of art, you can actually ask them.”

One of the popular places students enjoy visiting is Rake Gallery. Its high reputation and interesting shows give artists the opportunity for a unique experience.

 “Rake Gallery has high standards for things, and they make an actual show,” junior Laura Johnson said. “It makes sense why they have the works they do. They also have an underlying message in their show, which I respect.”

Another place students frequent is The Core, a small show Johnson said is more about the experience than the actual art.  It is known for the installation where small pieces of art are displayed in a three-foot high gallery that one crawls through to view. 

The gallery Blackfish is focused on more traditional art, such as painting and sculpting. Others, like Elizabeth Leach, feature more edgy, postmodern andconceptual art. 

Venues like Upper Playground and Compound are more than just galleries. They feature graphic T-shirts from established and new artists as well as books, prints and other fun artifacts. 

Linfield will soon have vans to transport students to Portland solely for First Thursday events. While it is currently being ironed out as to who is driving the vans and when they depart,students can e-mail any of the art professors for the specifics. If one would rather drive oneself, be assured there are plenty of options when it comes to parking.

“I see a benefit in everyone at least seeing where the art is right now, (and) it makes people more well rounded,” Statz said. “Besides going solely for the art, it’s just a really fun group activity. You grab dinner and go gallery hopping; it’s a really fun city.”

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