Side Show Tad

By day, Tad Carpenter is a mild mannered designer, crafting creative for companies like Target, Hallmark, and Lee Jeans at the Kansas City branding and design firm for which he works. But by night, Tad Carpenter is: Tad Carpenter, Illustrator Extraordinaire! Watch in disbelief as Tad crafts oddities from the great beyond: many-hued dragons that spew plumes of flame; steel titans with gizmos whirring; space travelers from dimensions untold! Through eye-catching line art set on wood block prints or silk-screened onto canvas, Tad's freakshow spins to life. And now, under the auspices of Tate's Comics, his magical big top hauls into town tonight at 7 at the Bear and Bird Gallery.

"Mayhem, Mischief, and Monsters," Tad's latest solo show, will give mere mortal spectators license to create Frankensteins with which to do their bidding. Each of Carpenter's monstrous screen prints on display come split into two sections, a top and a bottom, which are all available for private experimentation (purchase, that is). Oh, what maddening secrets await the pour soul who procures a frighteningly robotic head, only to affix it to the reanimated torso of an undead zombie? The mind reels at the limitless combinations*! (*Actual combinations may be limited.)

Test your hand at the screen prints, or check out Tad's woodprints, plate designs, and paintings at the Bear and Bird Gallery, upstairs inside Tate's Comics (4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill). The exhibit is free to attend, though it will mysteriously disappear, leaving no trace, by April 11. Visit bearandbird.com, or tadcarpenter.com for more info.
Feb. 28-April 11, 7 p.m., 2009

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