By Audrey La | photographer
I admit, as a native of Dallaser, I was disappointed with Waco’s arts scene when I first came to Baylor. My idea of Waco was basically a town as big and interesting as any ordinary suburb, with the exception of Magnolia, which has some excitement and star power. As a junior, however, I learned to appreciate the hidden treasures that make me feel at home. The Pinewood Coffee Bar is a popular place for my friends and I to learn, the Stone Hearth Indian Cafe fills the mango-lassi and samosa-shaped hole in my heart, and Cameron Park provides a nice, natural escape when the weather is cools down.
However, what I missed most about Dallas was the art. The Dallas Museum of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth were my favorite weekends. In Waco, I had no idea how to find their equivalents. Instead, I found refuge in the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum to get the same calm, awesome setting.
After exploring more of Waco, I feel better equipped to provide some art museum and gallery recommendations for anyone in need of repairing their art.
Before I get into that, however, here are some reasons why you should go to museums when you need some persuasion to visit one of the places I am about to mention:
- If you want to be happier, you should spend money on experiences, not material things.
- Art broadens your cultural horizons and you become more immersive as you know more about it.
- The arts are not given enough priority in education – or in general – so you should do your part to support the arts and ensure that art centers receive enough funding and public interest.
- Art makes you happy and gives you the same feeling of being in love.
- When it comes to love, they’re a great date idea because you don’t have to constantly make eye contact and talk alone. You can both look at the art and have new things to talk about with each piece.
Now, let’s get to an updated list of where to go in Waco to be happier, more sophisticated and have a successful date.
- Martin Museum of Art: Located in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center in Baylor, this art museum has both a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. After the visit, I can vouch for the variety and quality of the art here. Since it’s free, I recommend visiting the “Ballerina Vera Fokina” by Russian artist Nicolai Fechin. (There are also Creative Arts Experience events at the museum if you need an academic reason to visit.)
- Cultivate 7Twelve: It serves as a gallery, event center, and communal space for Waco residents to learn about art and showcase Waco artists. From my own experience, the atmosphere here is very inviting and relaxed.
- Art Center of Waco: This is a public, not-for-profit institution that offers various educational programs, exhibitions, and collections to support artists. They also get involved in the community to celebrate diverse, inclusive, and accessible learning.
Hopefully you feel inspired to visit all of these art centers. When you visit these places you are supporting local artists, businesses, and Waco.