What if the world of the imagination were as susceptible to scientific study as the world of tangible facts? Beauvais Lyons, a professor at the University of Tennessee, answers this idle question in the most fanciful ways in the Hokes Archives, which are named for fictitious Victorian scholar Everitt Ormsby Hokes. (The surname is a dead giveaway.) Devoted to “the fabrication and documentation of rare and unusual cultural artifacts,” Lyons’s archive is a multimedia wonderland of cryptozoology, ersatz medical scholarship, and simulated folk art that at once parodies academic shibboleths and unleashes a vivid world of fable and myth upon reality, one in which the chimeric hybrid creatures of global legends and literature have left behind not just dreams, but also schematic lithographs, taxidermy, and fossil records. Meet the Giraffe Boa, the Monkey Centaur, and the Nordic Hare Falcon at this opening reception, which also features members of the NC Opera performing selections from Mozart’s beast-laden The Magic Flute. But if you miss it, the exhibit is on view through January of next year, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch ‘em all. —Brian Howe