Exploring the Visual Arts Scene in McLennan County, Texas

Waco, Texas is a city that offers a vibrant mix of culture and art. From live theater and dance performances to art galleries and museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy. One of the most renowned artists in the area is Kermit Oliver, a self-taught genius and postman who has become a hidden gem of Texas painting. Waco 52 is an annual celebration of the outstanding artists who live and work in Waco and McLennan County.

It is a testament to the community's commitment to investing in creative talent and showcases the inspiring spirit of the area. Oliver's work is heavily influenced by classic references, as well as John Biggers, his professor at the University of South Texas in the 1960s. The Waco Art Center recently underwent a renovation and moved to its new headquarters on South Eighth Street near the Silos shopping complex. Creative Waco received over 150 submissions from local artists for their brand-new exhibition space.

It is remarkable to find such an impressive art scene in a city that is not typically known for its thriving art community. Oliver has developed a deep understanding of art history and the symbolic language of the Bible and antiquity. He was the first African American man to be represented by a major Houston gallery in the early 1970s, and later became the first American artist to design scarves for Hermès. In 1984, he left Houston to live a quieter life in Waco and work at the University.

Throughout the year, concerts, plays, exhibitions and more are offered at the Richfield Performing Arts Center on the WHS Campus. The works were selected by Martha Peters, Fort Worth's vice president of public art, and Sarah Derrick, director of education and learning at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland. TJ and Leann Ermoian Baylor Philanthropy Turner Behringer Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce City of Waco McLennan County were also involved.