Select Page

Sky High – Eclipse & More

Exhibit at the West Plains Civic Center

West Plains Council on the Arts (WPCA) will host an exhibition of works by area artists in the Gallery at the Center, West Plains Civic Center from March 30 through May 4, 2024. The Gallery, on the mezzanine, is open to the public during regular Civic Center hours.

“This is a beautiful, diverse collection of artwork created representing an eclipse, beautiful night skies, and other skyward representations,” organizers say.

A virtual slide show of this exhibit is available here.

Featured artists’ statements:

Robert Anderson – West Plains native Robert Anderson used his travel as a Forest Pathologist to capture the culture and landscape of many areas of the world. Now retired, he focuses on the Ozarks – landscapes, buildings, people, animals, and whatever presents itself for a picture. 

Marc Brannan – For the Sky High exhibition, I have selected three prints that exemplify the joy and beauty that I try to bring out when I am taking evening landscape photography. Something that I feel can be seen in a lot of my photographs is how the evening or night sky can bring out a whole different light to be shown on the landscapes that are all around us. The titles that I will be showing include “A Fire in the Evening Sky”, “Day or Night?”, and “Like a Rainbow Tonight.”

Terri Combs – Art is the way I express my creativity and imagination through experimentation, exploration, and playful use of materials. These pieces were chosen to invite viewers to explore and examine the skies and solar system of the mind.  My goal is to inspire viewers to create a story or message through personal perspective.

Lee Copen – The title of my painting is “Morning Glory.” It is a large oil painting of an amazing sunrise. I find that the sky is an endless source of inspiration. My goal is to paint fleeting moments of beauty in nature and share that beauty with others.

Becky Earls – This abstract Oil pastel piece is entitled “Rocky Mountain Sun.” It was inspired by deep reflection and study of the solar system and tectonic plates that bring forth land formations. I’ve had a deep interest in earth science geography since childhood. It’s a very free-spirited form, yet it’s an expressive piece that is beautiful.

The title of my Mixed Media piece is “Sol Alegre.”  It is a whimsical view of the sun before an eclipse. Our sun in all its glory has been celebrated by cultures throughout the history of mankind. This piece was a result from studying various cultures, views, and legends concerning the sun around the world. “Sol Alegre” has a tribal, nostalgic, boho feel and will bless any viewer with feelings of joy and warmth. I love to study various artworks and cultures.

Nicholas Hackworth – I’ve captured all my photos in and around West Plains and the Ozarks. Having grown up and still living here, I’m fascinated by the beauty and charm of the region. The Ozarks are an incredible subject for photography, and they always inspire me to capture their wanderlust.

Janey Hale – The title of my collage is “Newsworthy” which refers to both the actual event and the natural phenomenon that should direct us to the wonders of the world God created.  My art usually focuses on trying to capture the natural world through landscape painting.  My goal is to try and tell a story that will resonate with the viewer.

Terry Hampton – “Turner Mill” is a collage made using images from the West Plains visitors guide. The mill wheel shown in the piece stands 25-foot tall in a secluded and shaded spring in Oregon County, Missouri. But here, I’ve removed it from its setting and made it the center of attention, thinking of the total solar eclipse, when the sun is not as we usually see it, and it’s the focus of all our attention.

 “The Portal” is a piece just for fun. I’ve imagined a sky where something unusual has happened, where another dimension has intersected with ours. Ancient peoples were frightened of total solar eclipses because they were so rare, unexpected, and unexplainable. Even though we understand eclipses today, they are nonetheless a bit unsettling.

Rosemary Landers – These photos were taken at the last total solar eclipse in Missouri on August 21, 2017. Our family traveled to Hermann MO to experience this special event together. Our daughter Christina (Landers) Thompson lives in Atlanta GA with her family. She designed our “event” shirts! Her son Ethan was 9 months old in 2017. He is 7 years old now. Not many children can claim that they have witnessed 2 total solar eclipses at that age!  

Donna Lay – The title of my Mixed Media piece is “Inexorable.”  This abstract multilayered environmental painting portrays the eclipse as viewed from the space station which orbits our planet. The celestial movement of the earth around our sun, accompanied by our moon is inexorable, unstoppable, and relentless. It is majestic and full of grandeur and reminds us of the wonder of our universe.

Michael McClure – There is a world around us that we see, and there is a world within us which we feel. My work involves exploring where those two places meet. Some days my mood leans more towards simply appreciating the beauty I see all around me, and some days I need to express my emotions via color and light. Of course, moods change fairly quickly, which is why I prefer to finish a painting in the same session I started it, whether in the studio or outdoors en plein air. I find that working this way encourages a spontaneity that is guided by my intuition. I hope you will experience joy when you view my work, just as I experienced joy while creating it.

Diane Pence – I have always been drawn to the beauty of clouds and the night sky. Attempting to capture a moment in time, as a photo or a painting, is exciting to me.

Rhonda Richter – Painting “Evening on the Wabash” required navigating rapidly changing light. Every sunset is unique, difficult to depict, and impossible to revisit. Likewise, the drama of the eclipse will be quickly changing moments which will bring a distinct visual awareness of the immensity of creation.

Barbara Robinette – In my art, I am trying to show a moment of life and the feelings that might go with it.  My aim is to “paint the poem” using images rather than words. Hopefully, the viewer can see and feel something ethereal, something out of this world, in each of my paintings: “Creation” seems of movement, like how the earth began with the sun shining warmth and life-giving growth to the rocks, plants and hills, including the waterfall. “Idea” shows a burst of energy and creativity when just thinking about something new. It might be like how God felt before making this earth long ago. “Sun” is an abstract of the beauty of a sun on blue sky, with a few clouds, and one weed welcomes the new day looking upward with open branches.

Gary Sanders – Astrophotography – This is the greatest way to give people appreciation for the dark sky and see the stars in a way they’ve never seen them before.

Kathy Schloss – Kathy Schloss’ oil pastel with colored pencil painting titled “Tranquil End” was chosen for the calming representation of our universe besides showing a one-point perspective. Her acrylic abstract, titled “Mystical Freedom” represents an otherworldly scene that relates to this special event and affords each viewer the freedom to explore their own interpretation.  Kathy celebrates her love of nature through her paintings.

Cindy Temple – “Party in the Dark” This painting is all about fun, the chaos that might be happening in the dark, and the diversity of people coming to witness a total eclipse!

Mark Wallen – In my work, I love landscapes and am usually happy with my skies if nothing else. Eclipse and more fell into the portion of a painting I enjoy most. This is why I guess I like the Russian artist “Levitan” and The Hudson River Valley art Group. Both painted intense skies. The “ANNULAR ECLIPSE” is a work that fits the events showing, though not a total eclipse. The “AURORA BOREALIS” while not tied to the eclipse is an effect due to increased solar activity that shows up at Night.

Dolores Winkler – The world above us – The movement of Alcohol Inks and in bold Color! My dream is to live a life centered in creativity. I want to make amazing art, being around other artists, and to take the time to look around and really see this glorious world. Mostly I want to be able to make the kind of art that I love and that speaks to someone.