Art Center Waco exhibit showcases solar eclipse in its totality

Waco senior Ella Hext painted "Veiled Eclipse," which hangs in the gallery as part of the exhibit. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Erika Kuehl | Staff Writer

To complement the art of the natural world, Art Center Waco is featuring its Eclipse: Shining Shadows exhibit through May 4.

Exhibit director Meghan Bias said she couldn’t pick a favorite piece from the exhibit because there are things she loves about each one.

“We have artwork from 37 different artists across the state of Texas,” Bias said. “It was an open jury call for Texas artists 18 [years old] and above to tell us or show us what they felt like the eclipse represented to them or how they wanted to express the duality of what an eclipse is, whether or not it’s good or bad. Over through history, it’s either an omen or a blessing or both, just depending on which history you’re reading. So having them all come in with such different points of view has been so much fun.”

Bias said the art of Baylor students as well as people in Waco and across Texas is featured in the exhibit. People had to submit their work to be judged before acceptance.

“It’s really important that as a community art center, we are having variety all the time, and it changes, and it allows us to show different skill levels, different aesthetics and different mediums,” Bias said. “Each exhibit is definitely its own thing, but this one was a juried exhibit.”

Bias said she’s a “big nerd” about the exhibit and loves how each artist interprets the eclipse in their own way. She encourages people who come to the exhibit to sit with the art and see how their view of each piece changes over time.

“Art is a really beautiful place to find human connection, and we all come to [it] with our own story and our own worldview,” Bias said. “Being able to have a connection with a piece and have your own experience and just being able to learn about what the artist’s intent was and meeting in the middle is just such a missed opportunity for people. So Baylor students, especially young students, should definitely come and have a little human connection to the visual arts.”

Waco senior Ella Hext painted “Veiled Eclipse,” which is featured in the exhibit. She painted the piece in January, hoping to incorporate a minority group into her work.

“I felt like the eclipse serves as a metaphor for transformation,” Hext said. “And then the three women in my painting symbolize strength and resilience, and they create a connection between humanity and the universe. So I feel like I was capturing the beauty of the eclipse and the beauty of women and minorities.”

Art Center Waco is having a family day consisting of lantern-building and other activities on April 6, and it is free to the public. The center is currently looking for young adult volunteers and to expand into the college community.