Happy Tree Friends, sharing its title with a series of disgusting Web animations, is actually a collaborative effort among a group of Kansas City and Lawrence artists that pivots on the theme of trees. "It's casting a fairly broad net, and while there's a bit of irony in the title, it embraces the idea that artists have specific and expansive emotional relationships with trees," says Kate Hackman, associate director of the Charlotte Street Foundation. "I never knew the extent to which that was true until I put out the call for this exhibition. It turns out to be such an important subject to people, and in a vast array of manners, they incorporate or are inspired by trees." Part 1 opens tonight from 6 to 9 at La Esquina (1000 West 25th Street, 816-221-5115). Part 2 opens April 17 at the Paragraph Gallery (23 East 12th Street, 816-471-5937) .
Fri., March 6, 6-9 p.m.; Thursdays, Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: March 6. Continues through April 18, 2009