Carnie Freaks 

Childlike wonder is for toddlers or the unhinged, unless you’re Jaqwan Sirls. The artist and renaissance fellow revives the art of imagining through his sparse, delicate watercolors of Seussian beasties with dilated eyes. From 6 to 8 tonight, The Culture House Gallery in the African-American History and Culture House (5245 Rockhill Road) holds an opening reception for Sirls’ first solo exhibit, Carnival. Inspired by the hollow-eyed night dwellers of Tim Burton and the precious morbidity of Edward Gorey, Sirls creates nervy, dejected misfits neither human nor animal. They feature all manner of extrusions: coiled antennae, candy-striped tongues, Tastee-Freeze cowlicks. Sirls, a Rockhurst University student, will be at the reception, drawing up illustrations. A crew of performance artists and dancers — led by Sirls himself — will also provide entertainment. Sirls hopes to write children’s books someday. Perhaps then he can offer a storyline to explain “Sarah Pooklepicker: The Hoper-Dap-Lolli-Licker” or the sorry status of “Vamor Kelf: The Rejected Christmas Elf.” For more information, contact the gallery at 816-235-5641.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 31. Continues through Nov. 2, 2007

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