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Gorge yourself on feast of local art

A veritable all-you-can-eat buffet of art awaits inside city galleries in July.

Highlights of First Thursday include poet Walt Curtis' fast and loose paintings at the Mark Woolley Gallery, 120 N.W. Ninth Ave., and Gregory Grenon's angst-free, sporty baseball paintings at the Laura Russo Gallery, 805 N.W. 21st Ave.

Below are a few other Thursday pit stops to make downtown, in the Pearl District and in Northwest Portland. First Thursday hours are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you go, expect to see thousands frequenting galleries and dining spots.

'Portlanders'

Froelick Gallery, 817 S.W. Second Ave., through Aug. 1.

The Michelin Man meets fertility goddess Venus of Willendorf in Brian Elliot's show at the Froelick Gallery. Elliot worked as an industrial designer for 15 years, and it shows. His sculptures Ñ each about 2 feet tall Ñ are made of stainless steel, bronze and aluminum. It's fair to wonder, given the show's title, if the group of pudgy, polymorphic sculptures are a comment on Oregon's recent notoriety as the union's 'fattest state.' In a news release, the artist says they're not. Also weighing in at the gallery during July is Mike Shea, one of 26 artists in the 2003 Oregon Biennial show at the Portland Art Museum.

'Condition'

Mailroom Gallery, 512 N.W. Ninth Ave., through July 31.

Andrea Paustenbaugh, a student at Pacific Northwest College of Art, is one of the younger art pushers in town. The 19-year-old upstart launched the postage stamp-sized Mailroom Gallery on the west side of the Honeyman Hardware Lofts two months ago, along with Portland State University chum Nate Silverstein. Each Mailroom artist shows four to 10 drawings in the $20-$50 range, in addition to the work in the main show. Czech-born artist Lenka Konopasek unpacks her suitcase sculptures for July.

'New Members Exhibition'

Print Arts Northwest, 416 N.W. 12th Ave., through Aug. 2.

The Northwest Print Council Ñ buried in the north wing of the Portland Art Museum for five years and founded in 1981 Ñ has dusted itself off with a new gallery and studio. The new space opened in January in a fancy 12th Avenue location, between Northwest Flanders and Glisan streets. Printing demonstrations, classes and many original fine art prints by Northwest artists are for sale.

'Michael's Art Show'

Steel Pond Gallery, 1905

N.W. 26th Ave., through July 26.

The champagne of Portland Ñ uncorked! If you've ever logged onto the site DailyPDX.com, you've seen Michael Merrill's bubbly art Ñ he draws the site's loopy, colorful illustrations of Portland people, places and events.

'Betweenness'

Bullseye Connection Gallery, 300 N.W. 13th Ave., through

July 19.

'Betweenness is something which is almost this, or almost that, but not quite either, not a between dialectically, but a between within,' reads the show's accompanying catalog. Whateverness: On display are kiln-formed glass and steel screens created by Portland architects and designers such as Lamb Design Studios, Allied Works, Susan Emmons Studio and the architects from Colab.