Waco Art Center Opens New Home in Downtown | Local News


“It was a labor of love,” Stanton said. “We had a vision. We loved the vision that we saw. We had patrons who bought into the vision. Without our donors, our base of patrons and the help of the foundation, we could not have been able to. do this.”

Jill Michaels, four-year chairman of the board, said the new center represents the closing of a chapter in the centre’s history and another opening with new potential.

What makes her proud is how it reflects Waco’s talent, with design by Waco architectural firm RBDR PLLC and lead designer Grant Dudley; construction by Mazanec Construction of Waco; funding from local supporters, including a main donation from Alyce, Steve and Stephanie Beard; and an opening exhibition by artist Waco Kermit Oliver.

“It says a lot about the rich cultural community we have here,” Michaels said.

Collectors of artist Waco Kermit Oliver recognize his artistic signature: realistic studies of people and objects linked by an invisible age …

The COVID-19 pandemic struck just as the center was preparing its fundraising plans for the new facility and delayed that process, but Michaels said the opening couldn’t come at a better time.

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“Right now we need something that makes us happy,” she said.

Happy are the managers of the center and the members of the board of directors when they look at the new establishment and its possibilities.

The gallery rooms are taller and more spacious, allowing for larger works of art to be displayed, as well as more space for spectators and the ability to show multiple exhibits at once. There is more gallery space than before with a large area that adjoins an outdoor patio under a radial pergola, which will allow both private and public outdoor functions when the exterior doors are open. There are classrooms, offices and a gift shop. New audiovisual equipment and two mobile screens will allow film screenings and illustrated lectures. This equipment can also double for video projection, allowing for live art lessons and virtual exhibitions from other locations.

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