Since ancient protohumans touched a big black monolith with their filthy cave hands, human evolution over millions of years has been driven by the compilation and discharge of to-do lists. From “fashion tools, kill mastadon” to “pick up dry cleaning, drive Mom to Target,” the casting of our intentions into bullet-pointed executables has slowly changed us from mud-dwelling eaters of hairy elephants into moon-bestriding colossi with enormous forebrains. The Epsten Gallery at Village Shalom (5500 West 123rd Street, Overland Park) opens Adriane Herman: Pick Me Up (a Few Things) with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. and remarks from the artist at 3 p.m. In Herman’s examination of handwritten lists, she displays actual shopping lists and to-do lists submitted by members of the public, monumentalizing them via her own clay tablets and etchings. The subject matter might seem ephemeral, but the reality is that humbly jotting down errands and then scratching them off has led us, one line item at a time, from Mesopotamia to a comfy Barca­lounger in Overland Park. For more information, call 913-266-8413 or see kcjmca.org.— Chris Packham

Jan. 23-March 6, 2011