Baylor alumnus finds artistic calling through Waco murals

Photo Courtesy of Cade Kegerreis

By Kalena Reynolds | Staff Writer

If you’ve driven through any populated area of Waco, you’ve probably seen Cade Kegerreis‘ murals. From Union Hall and the Dr Pepper Museum to the Texas Sports Hall Of Fame, his work has earned him the title of “Waco muralist.”

Art and self-expression have been a vital part of Kegerreis’ life since childhood, and with the influence of two creative parents, the Waco native was able to make his dream a reality and continue his art studies at Baylor.

“I ended up getting a pretty good scholarship to Baylor, and with all my hours, I almost had an associate’s degree by the time I graduated high school,” Kegerreis said. “And it just made sense to not go across the country, especially with art in general as a risky move, and might as well stay close to home.”

During his first year at Baylor, Kegerreis found that he equally loved and hated the structure of classes.

“I thought in my mind that I already had most of the foundational stuff down from my high school art classes and also just being obsessed with art,” Kegerreis said. “I drew every hour of the day that I wasn’t in school, so the first year, I was frustrated and ready to get to some fun stuff, just tired of painting pots and doing all this still life. Looking back, that was the best thing I could have had — a true foundation and traditional art education. I’m glad they were very traditional with their art foundation, and you learn like the masters.”

After college, Kegerreis joined an art apprenticeship program through Creative Waco, which pays new artists for commission work. Through the program, Kegerreis made a name for himself in the Waco art community.

“I was willing to try anything, and somehow it kind of just naturally funneled into murals at this point,” Kegerreis said. “And a lot of that is due to Creative Waco and their program art apprenticeship.”

Kegerreis was able to build his network of artists, and alongside another person from the program, he created a mural for the Paul L. Foster Success Center in the basement of the Sid Richardson Building.

“The two of us actually did the very first mural on Baylor campus, and it’s under the basement of the Sid Rich building,” Kegerreis said. “It was an opportunity to leave our mark together, especially after helping me grow so much to be able to design together and then execute it together.”

Winter Rusiloski, an associate professor of art at Baylor, said Kegerreis has a strong desire to impact the next generation of artists in Waco.

“He is impacting the community of young artists with his enthusiasm, positivity and giving nature,” Rusiloski said. “His work and range of projects is also inspiring for students, seeing the diversity of mediums with which he works and scope of projects.”

Aside from murals, Kegerreis also has a number of personal projects inspired by human evolution and spirituality, titled the “Devolved Series.”

“That is the most impactful series that I may ever do, and it was for my first solo show, right before [COVID-19] really hit,” Kegerreis said. “And I was honestly really wanting to shake up Waco and the older, close-minded crowd.”

Kegerreis will share his professional art experiences with Rusiloski’s students as a guest lecturer on Thursday in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.