After a 54-year career slinging mail and office supplies at TheKansas City Star, not to mention a lifetime of collecting bottle openers, retiree Charlie Paynter found himself with a lot of free time and a lot of bottle openers — about 6,000 of them. An avid gallery hopper and art enthusiast, the 71-year-old Paynter began creating his own brand of outsider collages, incorporating found objects and openers from his collection. "Seven Card Stud," for example, is a top-down barroom diorama in which four bottle-opener poker players gamble using bottle caps for playing cards — Pabst caps, of course, their familiar undersides embossed with card suits. "Tango Lorca" depicts the artist dancing to the music of the eponymous local band, a dance-hall scene constructed on a violin armature. Check out 27 of Paynter's sculptures at his show, Opening a New Life, tonight at 6 at the Pi Gallery (419 East 18th Street, 816-210-6534). The exhibit runs through August 30.
Fri., Aug. 28, 6-9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 30, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 2009