WACO, Texas — In an effort to reach more people, Cultural Arts of Waco launched its first outdoor exhibition with six billboards around Waco serving as gallery walls.
Funded in part by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Creative Waco, the project is now up through Sept. 26.
Last year, when stricter COVID-19 restrictions were in place, the organization behind the Waco Cultural Arts Fest and Art on Elm looked for more ways to bring art to the public. Following their socially distant 17th Annual Festival in 2020, they gave out Art-to-Go activity bags free to school-age children.
Now the Outdoor Art Show is another way to give Waco art to enjoy ahead of this year's festival.
"As COVID-19 continued, the idea of our organization putting on a billboard exhibition grew. Now it serves to let Waco experience art on a grand scale, " Doreen Ravenscroft, president of Cultural Arts of Waco, said.
The less than 30-minute route starts near Barnes and Noble and follows Lake Air, Bosque, 26th & 15th Streets, and Franklin Avenue, but those interested can start and end anywhere along the route.
One of the featured artists, Cade Kegerreis, expressed his excitement with the project.
"The local community of businesses and individuals alike have allowed me to live the life I've dreamed of. Evoking emotion through my work is my livelihood, and I can't thank Waco's residents enough for giving me the opportunities to do that while beautifying our city," Kegerreis said.
Members of the organization also hope that Wacoans will put money into local businesses along the route.
"It was a challenge to find six billboards available that could be driven in a loop in the heart of Waco. Our account executive, Rene Duffy at Lamar Advertising, understood our goal and was a tremendous help. We are excited about people enjoying the art and the potential for them to stop at local eateries and retail shops along the way," Laura Beck, board member and local advertising agent, said.
Here is a map of the billboard exhibit around Waco along with more information about the six featured artists: