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Ben Livingston

Spirit Houses, Ghosts, and Memory
February 2022 - April 2022

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A National Endowment of the Arts fellow, Ben Livingston is internationally known as a neon/light sculptor. He is the inventor of an opalescent color palette for neon, using a variety of UV sensitive phosphorescent compounds and minerals. Ben originally observed these glowing compounds in New Zealand in 1985 which ultimately led to his signature work- luminous tubes he calls ‘Nightsticks’ or ‘Spirit’. 

Livingston works in a wide range of mediums such as found objects, historical archives and artifacts, photography, wood, copper, steel, glass, drawing, painting, and video. He is also a story-teller, lecturer, blogger, singer/songwriter and performer as well as an actor in film and television. Many articles have been published regarding his artwork, neon landmarks, life, thoughts and world travel.

Ben Livingston was born in Victoria, Texas in 1958 and makes his artwork and home in Austin with his family.


A spirit house is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place, primarily found in Southeast Asia. Artist Ben Livingston brings the spirit house tradition to Art Center Waco with his exhibit “Spirit Houses, Ghosts, and Memory.” A site-specific, traveling exhibit, “Spirit Houses, Ghosts, and Memory” is designed to convert the static nature of the Art Center into a spirit house made of reinterpreted materials from the community’s dynamic past. Intertwining historical artifacts and photographs, found materials, and neon spirit antennae, “Spirit Houses, Ghosts and Memory” evokes memories and feelings in a respectful nod to previous generations. 

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