‘Touch of Red’ exhibition features local artists

The local art gallery and venue Cultivate 7twelve is hosting an exhibit featuring small works by local artists. The only similarity between the pieces is the inclusion of the color red. Several of the artists employ unique methods when creating their works.

Lindsey Reynolds | Reporter

Tucked in the heart of downtown, Cultivate 7Twelve’s exhibit ‘Touch of Red’ is helping Waco’s beginning art collectors launch their own collections. It includes small works from several artists, and each unique work has only one thing in common: the color red.

The artists in the exhibit are a part of the Professional Artists of Central Texas (PACT). The mission of this organization is “to strengthen, improve and promote the artistic, professional and economic success of fine artists.” The ‘Touch of Red’ exhibit remains true to this statement by cultivating interest in Waco’s artists.

Assistant retail manager Julia Harmon is responsible for the display and care of the pieces in the exhibit. When asked about Waco’s fine art market, she responded with hope stating that, while many in Waco love to make art, there hasn’t been much opportunity to collect it. She believes this is why “Touch of Red” is the perfect exhibit for a town like Waco.

“The whole point of it, if you want to start your own art collection, this would be a good show to start with,” Harmon said. “It’s small works for under $300, so people can jump-start a professional artist collection.”

On Wednesday, artists Kimberly Merck-Moore and Kay Skipper Reinke visited the exhibit and spoke in detail about their artistic processes.

Kimberly Moore is an artist who specializes in three-dimensional mixed media art. To be considered mixed media, the work of art must include several different materials and mediums.

“The work you see here evolved from a fierce need to create and to tell my viewers a story,” Moore wrote in her biography. “The many layers that are so essential to my work each tell a part, whether as a curve of a branch, a secret path behind a tree, or a nest of eggs hidden in a secret drawer.”

Moore’s art is an intricate and time-demanding process. She begins with a custom wood panel or wood box, applies a textured medium, and, after sanding it, spreads up to 30 layers of acrylic washes. Once the washes have dried, Moore then sculpts scenes onto her wooden base. The scenes are often inspired by ones she remembers from her Texas home.

“This is time-consuming work, and unless noted, all originals,” Moore said. “It is hard to say how long each piece takes, because I am usually working on many at a time due to drying time, etcetera, but rest assured that each is a labor of love and creativity.”

As the daughter of a WWII journalist and cartoonist for the Army newspaper, Kay Skipper Reinke’s contemporary artistry was always encouraged and celebrated. A former landscape artist, Reinke exchanged this genre of art for something more sporadic and experimental in nature. Commanding the attention of any onlooker, it is no mystery as to why Reinke’s abstract paintings are highly regarded within the Central Texas’ art community.

“The fluid nature of paints fascinates me and drives me to pour, layer and drip the paint,” Reinke said. “I want my paintings to suggest experiences and feelings in a way that sparks viewers’ imaginations, draws them into the paintings and makes them want to stay.”

Cultivate 7Twelve, located at 712 Austin Ave., has exhibits that are free and open to the public year round. The ‘Touch of Red’ exhibit will be open until Thursday.