By Lauren Friederman, Reporter
To escape from the elements and feast your eyes on art, wander into the Creative Art Studio and Theater during what would have been the duration of the Homecoming Parade.
The CAST, located at 605 Austin Ave., will open its doors at 7 a.m. on Saturday. The gallery, featuring local Waco artists’ work, will be open for people to peruse the impressionist and surrealistic art as well as the photographs and pottery on display.
Games such as chess and corn hole will be set up for people to play. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available for 50 cents per cup. A Baylor-themed still life station will be set up and those who draw still life will be entered in a drawing for a free art prize pack.
CAST opened early for last year’s Homecoming and will do the same this year. Co-owner Beth Richards said it is important for them to open early for the community.
“We want to show our support for Baylor,” Richards said. “We want introduce ourselves to the crowd that comes out to support Baylor as well.”
Co-owner Terry Stevens said the CAST is a place for local artists to connect and display their work. He said there is a lot of talent in the area and whether or not the artists have had their work displayed or marketed previously, they’re offering a place for it at the CAST.
“Our mission is to help artists in the central Texas area develop and explore marketing opportunities to showcase their art,” said Monica Shannon, co-owner of CAST.
The CAST showcases all different types of artists, from pottery to paintings, Shannon said.
“The interesting thing about our artists is that we have people that are very high level professional artists that do this for a living and we’ve got guys who are kitchen contractors that do it on the side and are just as amazing,” Shannon said.
Only artists residing in McLennan County are allowed to showcase their work in the CAST. All of the owners said they agree showcasing local art is important for the community.
“We need to keep the people here and keep the dollars here. If people are thinking the only place they can go to get good quality art or good quality entertainment is Dallas and Austin, then those are dollars that are leaving our community,” Richards said.
In addition to keeping revenue in-city, Stevens stressed the importance of fostering creativity within the community because she said it adds vibrance.
“You have a creative person that can come up with a new business or something, that’s the same kind of person that comes up with art,” Stevens said.
Richards said when she moved here 11 years ago, downtown Waco was deserted. She said it was a much different downtown than it is now.
“If you grow the art, you’re going to grow business area, you’re going to grow job opportunities, you’re going to grow the things that make it a place that people want to live,” Stevens said.
For information on more events happening at the CAST, check them out online at www.castwaco.com.