Exhibit celebrates nighttime beauty

Big Bend Arts Council President Jan Moeller points out a sampling of the artwork available at the Council’s “Night Skies” exhibit in Alpine. 

The Big Bend Arts Council recently announced “Night Skies,” an exhibition of works that celebrate the region’s nighttime beauty. The exhibit will be open for public viewing at Gallery on the Square through Feb. 21.

The “Night Skies” exhibition was conceived and supported by the West Texas Friends of the Night Sky, a local group that supports McDonald Observatory’s work to establish the Greater Big Bend International Dark Skies Reserve. This reserve will be the largest in the world, drawing thousands of tourists and amateur astronomers to the region annually.

The exhibit opened Jan. 14 at Gallery on the Square, 115 West Holland Avenue in Alpine. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. 

Because of coronavirus concerns, there won’t be a reception, but Big Bend Arts Council President Jan Moeller encouraged everyone to visit the gallery and enjoy the artwork.

“Hopefully it will make people think about any measures they can take to decrease their light at night,” said Moeller. “The importance here is to celebrate our dark skies, and raise awareness about the dark sky initiative that we already have.”

Pamphlets will be available to gallery visitors that outline the City of Alpine’s outdoor lighting ordinance, and show how individuals can make their outdoor lighting dark sky friendly.

More than 30 pieces comprise the show, including paintings in various media, pottery, and photography, all with a variety of themes celebrating dark skies.

Ellen Weinacht curated the show, and contributed three paintings with the special designation that 80% of the proceeds go the West Texas Friends of the Night Sky organization.

The West Texas Friends of the Night Sky group is also working with the city to support best practices in nighttime lighting. To request information or to join the group, email westtexasfriendsofthenightsky@gmail.com.

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