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Weird Lady Alert: Artist Cierra McGuckie Curiosities, Oddities & Sideshow Characters



By Derrick White

Egypt’s Hatshepsut was one of the most powerful women in the ancient world. Empress Theodora was one of the most influential women in the middle ages. Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter symbolizes real women who filled factories and shipyards during World War II. Artist J. Howard Miller created the ‘We Can Do It!’ poster, based on factory worker Geraldine Doyle, who was also becoming a Rosie the Riveter. Supergirl is the female counterpart to the iconic Superman, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino in 1959.

Do not let her cape fool you; local Tyler artist Cierra McGuckie is a serious and super artist. I have never met anyone else so eager to smile and laugh. She is funny, quick-witted, talented, and offbeat in that good way this world really needs. She creates works two-dimensionally in oil, acrylic, ink, charcoal and mixed media. Originally from Celeste, Texas, Cierra attended Tyler Junior College from 2005-2007. She served as Art Club president, was a showcase artist, and the art department assistant. McGuckie’s art is painterly and rich but with the influence of commercialism symbols and iconography. Her work invites viewers to visually meander closely to her convincing brushstrokes and graceful lines, but also allows one to stand back and feel the powerful gut punch of a strong image. Cierra McGuckie states, “My inspiration includes women from the past with their differences and similarities likened to our culture today.”

Cierra-McGuckie-4Curiosity is a strong desire to know about something, or sometimes about a strange or unusual object. It is also the confusing influence McGuckie’s paintings have on those fortunate enough to experience them. Superior art is defined by its ability to make viewers feel human emotions, think and ponder aspects of the human condition, and sometimes raise confounding human questions in the audience’s mind even if there are no logical answers. Cierra’s work creates a kind of psychological acumen with powerful, emotional intensity. Who are these women? Are they dead? Immortalized? Ghosts? Regardless, they are visually entrancing and your mind begins to create a narrative and starts to piece together a genealogy while you are unable to look away from the haunting stares.

Cierra creates in a range of media, styles, and subjects, but is probably most noted for her eerie depictions of old and deceased women. “I started as most do when I was a kid, and I just continued to do what I was passionate about,” she states. When we talk of the importance of art in her life she says, “The most important thing art has given me is an outlet for my weirdness and freedom to represent this in any form I select. It also has allowed me to meet and befriend some of the most amazing and talented people I know.”

About her influences Cierra admits, “It is tough to choose, but I would say artist Alice Neel. Her paintings specifically tickle my fancy. I love the intensity and authenticity of her work.” The influence is unmistakable. Alice Neel (an American painter 1900 – 1984) was predominantly known for her no-holds-barred, gritty portraits. When discussing creative frustrations Cierra told me, “The most frustrating thing as an artist is having the need to create, but not being able to do so due to time restraints. It’s all about balance, and I’m pretty terrible at that.” Like most of us, she is no juggling circus clown, but she does have a husband, a stepson, and a three-year-old daughter running around, so anyone who has been there knows it is a wonder she gets anything done at all. Find what you love to do and devote your life to doing that. No matter what happens you have to take time to create or express. You have to forget about logic, and fear, and doubt. You just have to do everything you can to get to the one thing that is going to make it all worthwhile and at the end of the day, you have to jump.

Cierra McGuckie earned an Associate’s Degree in Art from Tyler Junior College in 2007 and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2010.

To contact her directly and ask what the heck is going on
in that outlandish, crazy brain of hers, please e-mail her at:

You can also very shortly you can check out her website (coming soon) at


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Tyler Museum of Art Creativity Camps Begin

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Tyler Museum of Art Creativity Camps 2018

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. M-F * Ages 6-12 * $40 per day/$175 per week

TMA World Tour 2018      June 25-29

We’ll expand the visual arts to include music and performance. In addition to our visual art activities, our young artists will make musical instruments, learn a song, and play a mini-concert at the end of the week.

Upside-down and Backward      July 9-13

Everything looks different from a fresh perspective. Drawing underwater, painting with spaghetti, there’s no telling what will happen when we change the way we make art. This camp is all about real creativity, and our young artists will help us brainstorm up new, exciting projects all week long.

Beachcombers’ Paradise     July 16-20

Love the seashore but hate sunburns and foot-scorching sand? Come explore marine environments through art! Biology, art and fun merge into one great experience as we learn about the weird, wonderful world of sea life and environments, and express our new knowledge through art.

5 Days Away from Rose City   July 23-27

Some of the country’s greatest artists call the Lone Star State home. We will explore the geographical regions of Texas and the artists who gain inspiration in them, ending up right here in East Texas.

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6×6@110 Continues at Gallery Main Street

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Skip the line, purchase tickets in advance HERE.
Purchase VIP tickets HERE.

The annual 6×6@110 is an art fundraising project to benefit Gallery Main Street in Downtown Tyler, Texas. The gallery is a City of Tyler facility operated with the cooperation of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition, an all-volunteer group of artists who schedule and jury fine arts exhibits and organize projects. All of the net proceeds of 6×6@110 will go to support those activities.

The annual 6×6@110 fundraising project will be held June 6th at 6pm. Each piece will be sold for $20, with all proceeds going to help fund the City of Tyler Main Street Department, which operates Gallery Main Street.

The name “6×6@110” reflects the fact that all artwork sold in the show will be 6”x6”, and will be shown at Gallery Main Street at 110 W. Erwin, Downtown Tyler.

For more info on this project go to, call (903)593-6905, or follow the Downtown Tyler Facebook Page.

The 2017 6×6@110 featured over 1000 works by hundreds of participants. The project earned the distinction of receiving the Best Promotional Event award from the Texas Downtown Association.

First Solo Show Opening

Help celebrate the opening of Gallery Main Street’s first fine art solo artist exhibit on Saturday, May 12th, 5:30-8pm. This free event will feature the opportunity to meet the artist and be among the first to see and purchase pieces from the exhibit. The exhibit will run through June 4th.

The jury will select the top three groups of submittals and then additional information and show descriptions will be submitted. The jury will review all additional information and will announce the solo artist on April 28th.

Other Upcoming Exhibits

Remaining shows this year are:

  • Solo Show #1 – Opening May 12th
  • “6x6x10” – Deadline June 1st, opening June 6th
  • Solo Show #2 – Deadline June 17th, opening July 14th
  • “Assemblies” – Deadline July 29th, opening August 11th
  • “Alternate Perspective” – Deadline September 30th, opening October 13th
  • Holiday Market – Deadline November 25th, opening December 8th

You can enter your art at For more info call (903)593-6905 or go to

Gallery Main Street features a new exhibit of original art approximately every eight weeks. Each exhibit opens with a Saturday evening reception that features music, an opportunity to meet the artists, refreshments, and more. The Opening Receptions are free and open to the public.


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Art Events Warming Up For Summer

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Events & Classes

June 16th (11am-11:30pm) June 17th (11am-4pm) – Junebug Art and Music Festival – Calling all artists! Junebug is an annual community Art and Music festival with an afternoon farmers market. This event encompasses art in its many forms. There will be teachers of weaving and soap making, along with hands on pottery wheel demonstrations. Attendees’ senses will be engulfed by the sights, sound, smell, and feel of all that is to be offered at this very unique art event in a very quaint little artsy community. The show will offer up a stage filled with eclectic musicians, bands, and songwriters. Saturday there will be a community Farmers Market where locals can sell their organic and/or locally sourced products. Vendor and artist applications are available at The family-friendly festival, which is located in the tiny art enclave of Ben Wheeler,TX, highlights the work of artists, musicians, and artisans from the Lone Star state. Headquartered on the three-acre park-like property surrounding the FORGE (a local restaurant, bar, and music venue), the festival will give attendees an opportunity to witness the creative process through “live art” displays as well as the chance to actively join in the process. For more information email

June 22nd (7-9pm) – Paperbark Studio Pop Up will be held at Strada Caffe, 302 E. Front St., Tyler. Come join us for a pop-up art show featuring Paperbark Studio as well as craft beer, wine, and small plates, espresso bar and pastry case. Come enjoy a wonderful summer evening of local art!

June 26th (6-8pm) – Kids Canvas Paint Party – Tyler Parks and Recreation is hosting a Kids Paint Party at the Glass Recreation Center for children ages 7-12 years old. For more information, please visit

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