Art & Soul’s first appearance in Wichita Falls was in 2015, and its grand finale will be on October 3rd coinciding with the last After Hours Art Walk of the season. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as it has been in past years, but this year is going to be a little bit different.
There is usually a street blocked off with tents set up for the artists to display their art. However, there will not be tents set up in the middle of the street or any street closures this time, like there has been in past years, and there will be no charge to attend. “We didn’t do it the same way we always have, and part of the background is that Art & Soul started before the Art Walk was a thing. As the Art Walk has continued to grow, and Art & Soul continued to evolve as well,” Director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development, Jana Schmader said, “The Art Walk seems to be more widely embraced by the community.” With the artists setting up all over downtown, the downtown businesses have provided a stage for artists with the Art Walk, incorporating the downtown businesses, showing the public what downtown as a whole has to offer. There are also many businesses in that area that use art as a part of their business model now with art displayed inside and outside the restaurants, bars and stores. There is entertainment, like bands playing in front of their businesses. “They both continued to evolve to where they are both not necessary anymore, so we are going with the Art Walk and are going to refocus all of our efforts on it,” Jana said.
“We use the tagline, ‘Where community meets creativity’,” said Jeanette Charos, Assistant Director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development, “The artists for the actual Art & Soul will be set up in the Farmer’s Market [on the corner of 8th Street and Ohio Street], and the stage will be set up right beside it. We are going to have performances from the local theaters and groups, and we are bringing in the band Memphis Soul from Dallas.”
There will also be children’s activities, including a public art project that will stay at the Farmer’s Market. The children will be painting all sizes of rocks to fill the flower beds at the market.
The Wichita Falls Museum of Art will have a booth with artist demonstrations throughout the day. Some of the artists that will also have booths, include Sherry Searcy with her fabric art. She creates framed pieces, jewelry and unique one of a kind hand painted silk scarfs. Dee McMahan with her fine art photography will be one of the artists, along with Carol Castro and her exceptional ceramics. She produces jewelry, wall art and other ceramic wares. Devonie Hutchinson, from the Artist Attic Studio, and Jan McCartney with the Heart of Texas Soaps and Sundries will also be represented.
There will be artists of all sorts showing and selling their wares, from framed art to stained glass, jewelry and painted tiles from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. It is free to attend, and great for all ages.
Cindy Kahler Thomas