WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—
When anyone drives around Wichita Falls, folks can see many murals, sculptures and other forms of art.
Reporter Landon McBride looked into where the artistry and creativity in this community come from.
Kemp Center for the Arts Gallary Manager Kristine Theuson said Wichita Falls has always had a strong art community.
“The art community in Wichita Falls has always been present, but sort of under the radar,” Thueson said. “A lot of smaller groups of people who have been interested in a particular kind of art or a certain thing, would get together and work. That has been the traditional path.”
Thanks to the Development of Downtown and a few groups, art has become more accessible.
“Arts have definitely been the focus, and I think partly because it’s something that everyone can relate to,” Thueson said. “Even though lots of people say I don’t know anything about art. It’s visible. It’s something that a small child or a grandmother or anybody in any age range can respond to immediately when they see it.”
The creativity in Wichita Falls doesn’t stop with those artists that put their work on display, it extends to the kids.
Places like Crashworks give those kids a chance to express themselves.
“People can come in and they can create using our maker space area or they can use our woodworking area. They can create anything they can imagine,” Crashworks manager Jacqueline Gober said. “Kids can learn, create and build independently using the components of steam. If they come in and they don’t know what they want to make we have theme projects that they can do. “this past week our theme was cardboard structures.”
One of Gober’s favorite things is seeing what the kids create.
“We have seen kids make tanks or porcupines,” Gober said. “One kind made a slingshot thing that was really cool so we went out in the alleyway and practiced it and he got it to work really well. Gober said. “it’s amazing. I love it. I love seeing their faces when they create something that they had imagined. It’s amazing I love it.”
Getting the kids involved in those kinds of activities early has many benefits.
“There’s lots of science and data that says art exposure to children is good for their brain development and for their social development in lots of different parts of their lives,” Thueson said. “Everybody gets some kind of enjoyment out of it, so it’s really nice to see kids have the opportunity to do so many different art things around town.”
Wichita Falls preparing kids for Monday while fostering that creativity and spreading a love of art.