About this Event

African American male artist Kehinde Wiley, standing in front of a blue and white background

Artist Kehinde Wiley

Upside Down, Topsy-Turvy, & In-Between: An Evening of Circus and Carnival from the Wichita Art Museum Collection

Join us for the carnival—it’s sure to be a circus! Aerialists, jugglers, and mimes set a festive mood on the terrace for a grand unveiling. The Big Top curtains swing open as WAM debuts its first major art purchase supported by the new American Art Acquisition Fund. Be among the first to see the latest work by one of the leading artistic voices of this generation.

Please join us for a night of festivities as we celebrate this new work of art!

  • Entertainment includes: Aerialists, Fire Breathers, Mime Jugglers, Percussionists
  • Signature cocktails & mocktails by 1400 Elderslie (accepting debit and credit cards)
  • Free Treats: Cotton Candy and Popcorn

The Wichita Art Museum is thrilled to announce its first major art purchase supported by its new American Art Acquisition Fund is by renowned painter and sculptor Kehinde Wiley. Kehinde Wiley’s Portrait of Yaima Polledo & Isabel Pozo makes its debut in Upside Down, Topsy-Turvy, and In-Between: Images of Carnival and Circus. Wiley, widely regarded as “one of the leading artistic voices of this generation,” is known for his monumental portraits of Black people, often in poses and settings that reference famous European images of emperors and kings. His official portrait of President Barack Obama was unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2018 to record-breaking crowds.

About WAM Nights: We’re open late on Fridays until 9 pm! Get your weekend started with after-hours access to the galleries, dinner at 1400 by Elderslie (‘Happy Hour’ drinks 3-6 pm), or shopping in the Museum Store. WAM Nights will include programs with artists, musicians, and performers–don’t miss your chance to see the art at WAM in a new way! The museum comes to life with local creatives during WAM Nights!

New Acquisition

Portrait of Yaima Polledo and Isabel Pozo, 2023. By Artist Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Yaima Polledo and Isabel Pozo, 2023. Oil on linen, 108 x 81 inches.
Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, American Art Acquisition Fund established by friends and franchisees of Pizza Hut, in honor of Dan and Frank Carney.

A monumental-sized painting titled Portrait of Yaima Polledo & Isabel Pozo, features dancers from a Cuban dance company celebrating Yoruba (Nigerian) ritual dances. Yoruba artistic and cultural traditions have influenced aspects of Black life in the Caribbean and United States, including carnival celebrations such as Mardi Gras.

Portrait of Yaima Polledo & Isabel Pozo will make its debut as part of WAM’s new exhibition, Upside Down, Topsy-Turvy, and In-Between.