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Carnivalesque goes backstage at the big top

Artist Penney Bidwell knows the carnival life isn't always a circus. She ought to -- Bidwell comes from carny stock, and their memories and lore left her with a different view. And it's not as though we haven't all lived through a creepy-clown shiver or two in our collective lifetime, anyway. So when the outwardly upbeat group show

Carnivalesque

, which Bidwell helped organize, opens Saturday at

Niza Knoll Gallery

on Santa Fe Drive, there will be a darker element mixed in with the magical fun and games. Here's a sneak peek at some of the show's highs and brooding lows. Niza Knoll's "Carousel Bird and Rider" adds a shot of whimsy. Matt Doubek's "Admit One." Claudia Roulier's circus bear. See

Carnivalesque

through October 29; as Halloween approaches in October, the gallery will also host a circus-themed artist reception on October 21 and a carny masquerade ball to close the show.

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