Solar Flair: Celestial Bodies in Motion, Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum, St. Joseph | detail of Nebula, marker and colored pencil on paper by Bridgette Ballinger, St. Joseph


At midday on Monday, August 21, a deepening shadow swept through Missouri, as the sun, moon, and earth swung into what the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art called “a cosmic chorus line.” The big event itself is over, but the arts in Missouri are keeping the party going.

The total solar eclipse inspired several Missouri arts organizations to create events with an astronomical theme. Some exhibits of visual arts are ongoing even through December.

Through September 15 | St. Joseph

Solar | Potter Art Gallery, Missouri Western State University

St. Joseph was spang in the middle of the path of totality, so the city hosted abundant eclipse events. One event continuing through mid-September is an exhibit in the Potter Art Gallery at Missouri Western State University. Solar features artworks in any medium that integrate the sun “as an element of imagery or process.”

Curated by MWSU’s Department of Art, the Potter Art Gallery mounts six to eight exhibitions each academic year, with the focus on contemporary artists.

Image:  detail of Spirit Lake, photograph by Tim Brown, Kansas City

Through September 17 | Columbia

The Art of the Eclipse | Access Arts

A 64-foot community mural is the centerpiece of Access Arts’ eclipse exhibit at the Boone County Historical Society’s Montminy Art Gallery. Local schools, businesses, and organizations joined with Access Arts staff and volunteers to create 72 panels. The assembled mural was unveiled on August 6. The exhibit also displays eclipse-themed artwork by students in Access Arts’ various programs.

Access Arts provides creative visual arts learning experiences for everyone, especially people who are underserved, through workshops, classes, demonstrations, camps, and after-school programs.

Through November 5 | St. Joseph

Solar Flair | Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

Solar Flair: Celestial Bodies in Motion is showcasing artworks of all media depicting moons, planets, and stars from artists throughout the U.S.

Since 1913, the Albrecht-Kemper has served as a cultural arts center for northwest Missouri. The museum’s permanent collection is especially rich in American art from the 18th through 21st centuries, including works by Rembrandt Peale, Mary Cassatt, and Edward Hopper. Special exhibitions often focus on regional artists and artist organizations.

Image:  detail of Confluence, photograph by Robert H. Hanson, St. Joseph

October 19 – December 17 | St. Peters

Night Sky | St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre

Even though St. Peters was just outside the path of totality, the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre is joining the celestial party. As winter darkness approaches, the Centre will light up with an exhibit of artworks themed around the night sky.

Located within City Hall, the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre hosts performances in a 306-seat theater; produces a weekly Acoustic Music Jam; coordinates classes in music, art, and theatre; and creates six gallery exhibits every year. Each exhibit has a theme. Running now through October 15 is Tourist Attraction.

Image:  Stormy Night, fused glass by Paul Frank, Chesterfield | from Once in a Blue Moon exhibit (2014)

Earlier this summer

With the path of totality running through more than 400 Missouri communities, celebrations were teeming, from carnivals to car shows. Many of events featured exhibits by local artists. Nearly all included live music. Some festivals especially emphasized the arts. And several eclipse-themed concerts and art exhibits ran right up to or just past the eclipse.

July 14 – August 18 | Ashland

Natural Phenomena | Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance

The natural world, galactic and otherwise, starred in works by Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance members and non-members.

MMAA has been incorporated as a nonprofit only since 2015, but this group of artists in southern Boone County already have their own building in downtown Ashland. The space incorporates classrooms, studios, and a gallery for work by local artists. MMAA produces workshops for children and adults, a summer camp, scholarships, community art nights, and special events like poetry readings.

Image:  detail of All Eyes on the Eclipse, acrylic by Vicki Eultgen, Ashland

June 27 – August 23 | Columbia

Eclipsed | Columbia Art League

The annual members’ show explored “shadow and light, sun and moon, from dappled to darkness…what is revealed and what is obscured.”

Cornerstone of mid-Missouri arts since 1959, Columbia Art League provides classes and camps, works with area schools, places hundreds of artworks in community locations, and annually produces the Arts in the Park festival and six gallery exhibitions. Running through November 3 is Interpretations V, a unique pairing of visual and literary artists.

Image:  detail of WOODland Eclipse, mirror framed with inlaid wood, by Ira J. Papick, Rocheport

August 18 | Columbia

A Celestial Celebration | Odyssey Chamber Music Series

A kaleidoscope of sun-inspired sounds ranged from a new work for saxophone and percussion to a bang-up arrangement for five pianos of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Both the concert and the following reception were free.

Founded in 2004, the Odyssey Chamber Music Series presents masterpieces of chamber music repertory that span four centuries, in mixed ensembles of all instruments. Many performances take place in the warm acoustics and intimate atmosphere of Columbia’s historic First Baptist Church. Next up in Odyssey’s 14 season is the Akropolis Reed Quintet on October 13.

August 18-21 | St. Joseph

Trails West!® Festival | Allied Arts Council

This year Trails West!® celebrated its 25th year as a feast of the arts. This major outdoor festival traditionally takes over Civic Center Park on the third weekend of August, There are always scads of visual artists, folk crafters, musicians, dancers, and theatrical performers.

Trails West!® is the signature annual event of the Allied Arts Council. Founded in 1963, the Council is a federation of 15 local arts organizations. The Council produces community programs, raises funds, and supports its member agencies.

Image:  2017 festival theme artwork by Brittany Losensky, Cameron