Roll Up to a New Art Gallery and Event Space in Northeast

“It feels like this beautiful community center,” says founder Caleb Jay Colours.

Caleb Jay Colours (The Roll Up)

The Roll Up is a new art gallery and event space on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Located in an old auto mechanic shop, the artists “roll up” the three garage doors to host events, which so far have included traditional art openings, yes, plus drag and comedy shows and miniature skateboarding fests (explanation below). Plus, creative director Caleb Jay Colours wants people to just casually “roll up” to the venue. (He loves puns.)

Until Colours, 35, hosted his first Roll Up event in February, he was better known in town for painting murals. He was on the team that painted the Fair-Haired Dumbbell on the eastside entrance to the Burnside Bridge in 2017, giving the white office buildings their signature primary-colored splotches, swirls and flowers. In mid-May, he was up near his hometown Seattle painting a mural of weightlifters and sprinters on the side of a new gym.

His path from muralist to gallerist was the unexpected result of a soccer injury that prevented him from climbing ladders and painting buildings. Two years ago, Colours broke his leg during a soccer game, leaving him bedridden right at the beginning of mural season. While healing, he did some soul-searching.

“I asked myself what did I want to do when I moved to Portland 11 years ago?” he says. “I wanted to put on art shows and curate.”

In addition to Colours’ art gallery space, called Colours PDX, The Roll Up is home to Top Shelf Records and a middle foyer that the collective uses as a miniature skatepark for tiny fingerboards (similar to Tech Decks). They are looking for another tenant after a vintage shop departed.

The Roll Up’s first formal art exhibit was a black velvet show during the Portland Winter Light Festival. The venue also hosted Dumpster Thriving, where 40 artists decorated 3D-printed miniature Dumpsters that were then displayed on milk crates donated by Alpenrose Dairy. There are drag shows and a recurring comedy night called Jokeadelica. Up next is a summer solstice event June 20.

Colours’ big surprise in opening an art gallery and performance venue was how nicely it complements his more solitary mural work. People are showing their art or performing, volunteering and coming back again and again.

“It feels like this beautiful community center—but a cool community center,” he says.

GO: The Roll Up, 2145 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and

"Dumpster Thriving" installation at The Roll Up (ELLE JAMES/The Roll Up)

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