By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer
This week, visitors to the Martin Museum of Art can enjoy the gallery’s current exhibits with a festive twist at the first ever “Halloween Days at the Martin.”
The themed event was the “brainchild” of the Martin Museum of Art’s collections manager, Chani Collins.
Collins said her main duty is caretaker of the art collection at the Martin Museum, but due to the nature having a small staff, she often finds herself “involved in just about everything we do.”
Collins said most if not all of the typical activities held at the museum were canceled due to COVID-19. She said that herself and the rest of the staff at the museum tried to brainstorm alternative ideas the museum could celebrate the season.
“We were just talking about Halloween. I love Halloween, and we weren’t sure how everything would affect trick-or-treating,” Collins said. “We wanted a way to get the public in, but not have them all come at one time. So that’s why it’s spread out over the whole week, and people can just come during our normal hours.”
Collins said additionally, to accommodate the larger community and those who may attend daycare and school, the museum will extend their normal hours until 5 p.m., letting in visitors until 4 p.m. and closing an hour after the last call for entry.
Elisa Crowder is one of two of the gallery attendants at the Martin. She said that the staff at the Martin thought it would be special to host an event for both children and their families.
“Guests are invited in anytime and children in attendance, ages 14 and under, can come to the desk to receive a treat bag and a special coloring page created for the event,” Crowder said. “Kids are encouraged to dress up for their visit, but it is not required. We also look forward to sharing pictures of kids in their costumes.”
While there is no costume contest and one is not required for entry into the museum, both Crowder and Collins said they are encouraging parents to post photos of their children’s Halloween costumes on their Facebook page.
The Martin’s team is decorating the current exhibits with haunted decor.
“We have some spider webs and some cute little spiders. We’ve got some pumpkins. There’s a photo opp, where there’s a haunted house and a skeleton that people can take their pictures with,” Collins said.
Collins said that while they are accustomed to their typical Baylor community spending time at the museum, they are hoping to draw in a wider Waco and community audience with their family-fueled event.
“We’re hoping to get more of the public in because this year… we’re still seeing kind of our Baylor population, but we’re not seeing as much of the public,” Collins said.
The currently standing and now decorated exhibits at the museum include “Revisiting Audubon,” the revised exhibit that shares the life of artist John James Audubon and “The Floating World,” an exhibition displaying woodcut prints from Japan.