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Summer exhibits for art lovers show passion, experimentation

Summer exhibits for art lovers show passion, experimentation

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Waco artist Nelda Lloyd may have kept her artistic urge at a simmer for much of her life, but her first public show, “Lloyd’s MsPhit Art,” opening Saturday and one of two art exhibits opening this weekend, displays a creativity on high boil.

The exhibit at the Art Forum of Waco features nearly 70 works in a Who’s Who of artistic media: acrylic and oil painting, drawing, charcoal, oil pastels, watercolor, collage, stained glass, ceramics, wax, molding paste and combinations thereof.

She calls it “misfit” art — “MsPhit” in her show’s title — because it doesn’t play within the rules. “I was doing my own thing,” she said.

The McAllen native, 55, had done art on the side for much of her life after graduation from University High School and Texas State Technical College, where she studied architectural drafting. She and her husband, Russell, a Veterans Administration administrator, raised their three children in Texas, Nebraska and Arkansas, and it was at an Arkansas community college in 2007 that she started her art studies again.

Lloyd continued when they moved back to Waco, taking art classes through McLennan Community College’s continuing education program, and when the Lloyds’ youngest child left for college a few years ago, she found the time to delve more deeply into her passion.

The artist met Art Forum of Waco owner Jesus Rivera about a year and a half ago, and he provided not only art lessons, but an invitation to set up a studio in the forum to pursue her work, which she did about three months ago. “My dream came true at the forum,” she said.

Her monthlong show at the arts facility reveals a restless experimentation: stained-glass pieces worked into monochromatic painting; dried flowers combined with charcoal, pastel or watercolor sketches; and paintings with color from beets, strawberries and blueberries; photographs cut into strips, then woven into a mat. “I like to play with stuff and break the rules,” Lloyd shrugged.

It is the first show organized by the Art Forum’s new business manager and curator, Amanda Lee Hixson. Hixson founded and edited the Waco arts and literary magazine Bohemia for three years. “I’m really excited. It’s a really good fit for me,” she said of her position with the arts organization.

For Forum owner Rivera, the show highlights what impressed him about Lloyd. “She has a passion and respect for the arts. There are long hours she spent in the studio for this,” he said, giving her an informal salute.

This weekend also features the opening of a new 52-piece Summer Art Show from Texas Fine Artists, exhibited in the Hewitt Public Library, 200 Patriot Court. The exhibit runs through Aug. 27 and includes paintings and drawings by Deborah Propst, Susan Sistrunk, Mat Tindell, Roy de Romero,

Jan Hartford, Lisa Hendry, Charles Wallis, George Giddens, Katie Lairmore and Richard Gilbert. Photographers Spencer Moore, Rick Duhrkopf and Sheri Hemrick also are exhibiting their work.

An opening reception, with music from the Horton Duo, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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