The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Ready. Set. CREATE!

Discover the Art Center of Waco

7 years ago

By Kaila Lancaster

The Art Center of Waco is truly a hidden gem of our artsy city. I ventured to the center for the first time on a crisp, sunny Saturday morning, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Before I began working for the Wacoan, I had no idea it existed, but now I want to visit each time a new exhibit is on display. Once you visit The Art Center, you’ll want to dust off your old paintbrushes and sharpen some colored pencils — creativity is contagious.

The Art Center of Waco is nestled on a picturesque hillside on McLennan Community College’s campus; its lawn is peppered with beautiful sculptures, and the building is connected to an expansive covered sidewalk ideal for picnics and lounging. I personally love this sculpture that sits in the front of the center. Try to convince me it doesn’t look like a gothic fortress:

So pretty and perfect for photo ops.

One thing to note: once you make it inside the center to view the current exhibit, ask an employee if photos are allowed. Most of the time photos are not allowed to preserve the integrity of the exhibit.

That whole “pictures or it never happened” philosophy? Leave it at home when you journey to an art gallery. Live in the moment. Soak up the stunning images that are before you. Think about them — Snapchat filters are not necessary to make art beautiful, to make it worthwhile.

The main exhibit features selected works of Joel Edwards, the current artist in residence at The Art Center of Waco. Edwards’ collection features works in a variety of media: graphite pencil, oil paint and watercolor. I personally loved an oil painting on display that depicts a grandfather passing down knowledge to his grandson. It’s beautiful.

This exhibit ends on March 11, so be sure to make your way to The Art Center and enjoy Edwards’ works while you can.

The Art Center also features a fun, eclectic gift shop in its lobby. Purchase notecards from local artists, photographs, a T-shirt, hand-painted tote bags and more.

The Art Center isn’t just about viewing art — it’s about creating art. Classes are offered for kids, adults and everyone in between. Visit to view classes that are available.

So whether you’ve never stepped foot in The Art Center of Waco before or it’s simply been a while, I encourage you to spend an afternoon at this cornerstone of the Waco arts community. Celebrate the fact that your town is now a hub for the arts, and join in on the fun.