Artist Travis Tarver surrounds a mannequin with white drapery at Cultivate 7twelve for the “Ekphrasis: An Exploration of the Mind, Body, Soul” exhibit running through November in downtown Waco. Writing from Audrey Hamlin will accompany his work.

Angie Veracruz photo

If the windows of some downtown Waco storefronts seem artsier than usual this month, it’s intentional, thanks to the second appearance of Central Texas Artists’ Collective “Ekphrasis” art show.

Ekphrasis, drawn from an ancient Greek term about a work of art commenting on another, marries visual imagery with verbal interpretation. In the case of the art exhibit, displayed in some 15 storefronts in the 600, 700 and 800 blocks of Austin and Washington Avenues, it stands for the combination of art and poetry.

This year’s theme, “An Exploration of Mind, Body, Soul,” touches on mental health. The topic, with such related subjects as depression, suicidal tendencies and anxiety, attracted both visual artists and writers in Waco, said organizer and CTAC co-founder Steve Veracruz.

“It holds a lot of meaning for a lot of people . . . It’s an issue we need to bring more awareness to, to get rid of some of the stigma . . . and make better communication,” he said.

Forty artists and writers submitted pieces for this year’s show with paired works appearing in some 15 storefronts in downtown Waco. The show also features “Creative Overflow” at Klassy Glass, 723 Austin Ave., where several works, including several by Klassy Glass manager Alex Turnipseed, will be displayed, Veracruz said.

Viewers can vote on their favorite pieces during First Friday activities downtown with an opening reception held Saturday night at Austin’s on the Avenue, 719 Austin Ave. That reception will feature music by singer-songwriter Kristin Breen, hip hop from Ryan Thomas, Cameron Cavalier and members of Hiz Houze, a local hip hop church, along with spoken word performances. Representatives from various Waco and McLennan County agencies that work with various aspects of mental health also will be present, Veracruz said.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor