Posts Tagged ‘Waco’

2015 Art Night Springhill Suites Waco Texas

Bonnie Feaster Chapa Invited as Featured Artist at Springhill Suites Art Night in Waco

Written by Bonnie Chapa on . Posted in Bonnie Chapa Art Events And News

“SpringHill Suites Waco / Woodway Hosts Art Night Event for Guests and Community Hotel; Showcases Local Art with “Evening of Inspiration.”

Bonnie Feaster Chapa’s artwork “Here To Stay”, “City Cafe” , Limited Editions of “Red Guitar” and “Waco Hippodrome” will be featured in the Art Night Exhibit at Springhill Suites Waco / Woodway and will be on exhibit November 19 – January 1, 2016.  Opening Reception will be November 19th, 5:30-8 PM.  It is an event you do not want to miss!  Support a great cause, art in local schools.  A portion of the proceeds will go to local art departments in Waco and surrounding area public schools.  Let’s give these kids the art programs they deserve! Thanks to the sponsors Allen Samuels Waco Chevrolet, Italian Granite and The CAST!


Springhill Suites Waco / Woodway
200 Colonnade Parkway  Woodway  Texas  76712  USA 

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2015 Art Night Springhill Suites Waco Texas

2015 Art Night Springhill Suites Waco Texas

Bahama Mamas © Bonnie Feaster Chapa

Bonnie Chapa Art “Bahama Mamas” featured at the Waco Civic Theater for “Crowns” Musical Run

Written by Bonnie Chapa on . Posted in Bonnie Chapa Art Events And News

Bonnie Chapa’s Giclee Print titled, “Bahama Mamas” will be one of the art pieces featured during the Waco Civic Theater production “Crowns”.  Art was curated for the running of the musical by Studio Gallery in Waco.  All pieces are for sale at the theater.
“Inspired by the Michael Cunningham-Craig Marberry book “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats,” the Regina Taylor musical, presented by the Waco Civic Theatre for a three- weekend run, adds a story line of that music in action.” said, Carl Hoover with the Waco Trib.  (Read Carl’s article)

“Crowns” closes its WCT run this weekend with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 5-7, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 1517 Lake Air Drive. Tickets cost $10 for Thursday, $18 and $16 for other performances. Call 776-1591 or go online at

The WCT cast also will perform the musical Feb. 13 and 14 at the Jubilee Theatre, 1319 N. 15th St., in a fundraiser for the Jubilee and Mission Waco.


Posted: Wednesday, February 4, 2015 12:01 am

The gospel songs and spirituals in the Waco Civic Theatre’s production of “Crowns” are solid and crowd-pleasing, but it’s the stories and sermonettes that turn the musical from Sunday Morning’s Greatest Hits to a memorable look at the women who populate the pews.

While costumer Geneece Arnold’s “crowns” — the elaborate, eye-catching hats worn by many black women in church — are remarkable creations, the actresses who wear those crowns do so with a confidence and dignity that makes them the musical’s centerpiece.

Regina Taylor’s play concerns a young New York woman named Yolanda (Jayla Lane) who moves in with her South Carolinian grandmother Mother Shaw (Hattie McGill) after Yolanda’s brother is shot and killed.

Mother Shaw tries to get her to church for its saving grace and the healing fellowship of her hat-wearing friends, Mabel (Wanda Gunther), Velma (DLR Mayes), Wanda (Ashleigh Sherel) and Jeannette (Ashley Weaver).

The music and fashion prove a culture clash for the headphones-and-cap-wearing Yolanda, still angry and in mourning for her brother, and she fights the sisterhood’s advice and invitation — well, until the power of music, faith and personality prove irresistable.

“Crowns’ ” music, encapsulated in songs like “On The Battlefield For My Lord,” “Wade In The Water” and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” may pull an audience in, but it’s the stories and insight that Mother Shaw and her friends share that flesh out the characters.

These are women whose hats are proud markers of their love of beauty, their status and a dignity earned in a world working hard to erode it.

Director Tommy Edds, who also leads the music on keyboards, stages the musical in the round. It’s a subtle touch, but one that turns the cast from performers in front of an audience to everyday churchgoers with stories and songs to share.

Gunther commands “Crowns” as preacher’s wife Mabel, who not only tells stories with great wit and timing — her commentary on hat etiquette and young women’s short skirts steal the show — but demonstrates that worshipping God trumps respect for the hat. She’s also a convincing preacher, when hit by the Spirit.

DLR Mayes not only wears some of the production’s most striking hats with suitable flair, but sings that way as well and Sherel isn’t far behind.

Royce Montgomery plays a handful of husbands, fathers and preachers, shifting smoothly between characters and leading the way as a preacher and singer when called for. Some of his roles mirror real life — he’s a pastor and musical performer — which makes him feel all the more natural and believable.

Edds on keyboards, drummer Torie Montgomery (Royce’s daughter) and bassist Michael Donahue ably back the singers with a tight, driving gospel sound, with Edds often playing a quiet R&B/gospel vamp to the stories. This is a trio that would be at home for gospel brunch. A small choir, hidden in the balcony, also adds vocal muscle to some of the bigger numbers.

The minimal set, designed by Bobby Abrahams and Joey Fortune, features individual wooden benches whose sides suggest church pews and video monitors above and to the side of the acting space flash images of southern life, culture and hats. It seems distracting, but in practice acted like an electronic wallpaper helping shape the production’s tone.


Downtown Waco’s Creative Art Studio and Theatre and the Art Center of Waco on the McLennan Community College campus go beyond simple exhibition of artwork…

Written by Bonnie Chapa on . Posted in Bonnie Chapa Art Events And News

Must read! Things are happening that were only dreams once before in Waco…thanks to all who work so hard to make those dreams come true. So proud to have my art at both The CAST and The Art Center of Waco. There is truly some amazing, persistent and dedicated talent in Central Texas!

Art doesn’t stop with the what on the wall, the pedestal or the table for two Waco art venues, but includes a who or more inside.

Downtown Waco’s Creative Art Studio and Theatre and the Art Center of Waco on the McLennan Community College campus go beyond simple exhibition of artwork to include interaction with real, live artists in their artist-in-residence programs.

At the CAST, it’s an artists-in-residence program with five local artists, each representing a different media or style, working with and through the venue. At Art Center of Waco, it’s working ceramacist Jonathan Martin — for you “Fixer Upper” fans, the one who presently supplies Magnolia Market with coffee mugs and pots — who’ll move his studio operation to the center.

CAST co-owner Monica Shannon said the decision to name five artists-in-residence was meant to showcase a range of local talent and, conversely, draw attention to Waco.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth here at the CAST,” she said. “In the last nine months, it’s amazing how many talented artists have come through the doors. . . . We would like to put Waco on the map in terms of visual art.”

The five artists-in-residence for the Creative Art Studio and Theatre are Brian Broadway (from left), Mark Kieran, Rick Duhrkopf, Rocky Kelley and Greg Peters.

The five announced last month have shown work at CAST last year and are presently collaborating on a group project, Shannon said. Details of what the artists will do or how long they’ll serve as artists-in-residence haven’t been hammered out yet, but they’ll likely do demonstrations and talks about their particular medium throughout the year, she said.

The CAST’s artists-in-residence are:

• Brian Broadway — Painter whose works have sold across America and Europe. Best known for his monochromatic studies of celebrities and sports figures.

• Rick Duhrkopf — Photographer and Baylor University biology professor. Active member of the Texas Professional Photography Association with more than 40 years’ experience in nature and landscape photography.

• Mark Kieran — Painter whose popular surrealist and abstract works have made him the CAST’s best-selling artist.

• Rocky Kelley —Painter known for fantasy work in various genres, including Dark Romanticism and Surrealism. Winner of the Director’s Award at the World Fantasy Art Show and illustrator featured in “Rayguns Over Texas Anthology.”

• Greg Peters — Emmy Award-winning animator who has worked for the likes of Hanna Barbera, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon and Disney Studios.

For Kieran, selection as an artist-residence is the latest confirmation of his fairly recent move into professional art.

“I’ve been dabbling in art for most of my life, but this is the first place I’ve really been able to exhibit my work,” said the 45-year-old Hewitt painter and musician. His abstracts and fantasy images are characterized by strong color and a swirling effect.

He’s shown pieces at Art Center of Waco and The Blue Horse, but his biggest success has been at CAST. “I’m not really sure what the secret is there . . . but I’ve been really fortunate in that regard,” he said.

At Art Center of Waco, Martin is the latest of Waco artists who have worked as resident artists at the center, joining Flip Kimmel, Chesley Smith and Jan Harvey. Like center instructors Kay King, Deborah Reed-Propst and Sara McCormick, he’s also a former school art teacher, having taught digital media and graphic design at AJ Moore Academy and University High School.

The 2000 Baylor University graduate runs Black Oak Art, which sells his clay work. He had worked at Anthem Studios in downtown Waco, giving ceramics lessons as well as creating pieces, and was planning to move later this year to a larger space downtown being developed by Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits owner Brett Jameson.

Waco ceramicist Jonathan Martin, Art Center of Waco’s latest artist-in-residence, will move his studio into the center’s basement workrooms. Staff photo— Carl Hoover

Martin needed the larger space thanks to another local business, Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia Market. The potter had created a set of mugs with the Magnolia logo for the Gaines, hosts of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” home remodeling show, to use for their gift baskets.

When the Gaines decided to expand their Magnolia Market, Joanna came calling to ask Martin to provide mugs and pots for her store. He agreed, but the scale of that order — about 600 pieces a month — pushed Martin more fully into the commercial end of his art and out of teaching.

He’s had to hire an assistant and put a call in to Baylor’s art department for clay students wanting hands-on experience.

Then Art Center of Waco board members came calling late last summer with an offer: They wanted a local working ceramacist to dust off the center’s sporadically used clay studio in its basement and set up shop. The center’s facility includes five electric throwing wheels, two large kilns, work tables and storage space for glazes, ingredients and drying pieces.

The position and move also would allow Martin to cut down on time spent away from his Woodway home, where he and his wife, Sara, are raising three children ages 7, 5 and nearly 3 years. He said yes.

As artist-in-residence, Martin will give lessons in clay work and ceramics for the Art Center of Waco — current instructor Kay King will continue her classes as well — and help with the center’s educational program. The center also will receive a percentage of his objects sold in its gift shop and he and his students may produce an upcoming exhibit.

“It’s great to have Jonathan to promote art locally and as a business,” said Meg Gilbert, the center’s operations manager. Not only does Martin have connections with an emerging downtown scene — the center would like to move there sometime in the near future — but he brings with him students who want to learn the craft of art, she added. For a center that has arts education as a core part of its mission, arts mentoring is something worth encouraging, she said.

With the holidays behind him, Martin and his workers have begun the work of cleaning up the center’s basement area to make it more operational. He wants to show aspiring clay students and artists what a functioning studio looks like as opposed to a space only used for periodic lessons and storage.

“It needs some dusting off and some TLC (tender loving care),” he said.

Waco Hippodrome © Bonnie Feaster Chapa

New Bonnie Chapa Art: “Waco Hippodrome”

Written by Bonnie Chapa on . Posted in Bonnie's Art Gallery

“Waco Hippodrome” © Bonnie Feaster Chapa Story of the Waco Hippodrome Theatre below.

Created from an original picture taken by Bonnie Feaster Chapa, September 2014, at the Waco Hippodrome in Waco, Texas.

Construction began on the Hippodrome Theatre in 1913 after a group of Waco businessmen organized by Thomas P. Finnegan and Mayor J.P. Harrison garnered support for a downtown vaudeville theatre.

The Hippodrome Theatre’s opening night, February 7, 1914, featured a live seal act, a five-piece orchestra and a magic act on the bill. Tickets were ten cents for adults, five cents for children, and box seats were a quarter. The theatre was operated by Mr. H.P. Hulsey & known affectionately known by Wacoans as “Hulsey’s Hipp”. The Hippodrome Theatre was the place for road shows, vaudeville tours, movies and local talent shows and events.

As the vaudeville era came to an end, the Hippodrome Theatre became a Paramount-Publix silent movie theatre. As an affiliate of Paramount Pictures, the theatre served as a movie theatre until a fire in the projection booth in 1928 destroyed much of the front of the building, forcing a renovation of the facility.

The consequent renovation resulted in the Spanish Colonial Revival style that is still present in the building today. In 1929, Southern Enterprises leased the theatre to Louis Dent’s Waco Theatre, and management changed the name of the Hippodrome Theatre to Waco Theatre.

The facility remained in use as a movie theatre and performance venue while undergoing renovations in 1936, 1961 and 1971. During this time, a number of celebrities performed and visited the Waco Theatre. Elvis Presley performed on stage, as well as taking in a movie while stationed in Fort Hood. The largest crowd ever gathered at the Waco Theatre was over 10,000 people to see John Wayne in town to promote one of his pictures.

The Waco Theatre remained open until the late-1970’s, but an increasing number of customers turned to newer movie theatres in suburban areas, ultimately causing the theatre to shut its doors. The Waco Theatre remained unused until 1980, when the Junior League of Waco began the process of restoring the Waco Theatre. At the time, Waco was in need for a performing arts venue, and the empty Hippodrome Theatre fitted the bill.

Between 1981 and 1986, community volunteers, the Junior League of Waco, and the Cooper Foundation contributed $2.4 million dollars and countless hours of dedication to undertake the restoration. The Waco Hippodrome Theatre was reopened on February 28, 1987 and became listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The facility was operated by the Waco Performing Arts Alliance and offered a variety of live theatre performances in the building until 2009-2010 when the Hippodrome Theatre once again closed its doors.

In December 2012, local developers Shane Turner and Cody Turner purchased the Hippodrome Theatre and began its current renovation. The theatre retained its classic look, but took on a few new changes. Inside the theatre, a retractable wall and movie screen was added to the balcony giving the building the capability to show two films simultaneously. The seating was refigured to be more stadium-like, as well as to give means for flexible seating with or without tables for dining. The second floor lobby has been renovated into a bar. An addition was constructed facing S. 8th Street that features two kitchens, a concession stand, a full-service restaurant and handicapped accessibility with restrooms on each level and an elevator to connect the floors.

While native Wacoans remember the Waco Theatre as a movie theatre, the Hippodrome Theatre has always been a performing arts center in one form or another. The new Hippodrome Theatre opening in 2014 will offer first-release films, along with classic films, live theatre, concerts, stand-up comedy, dance and much more. The Hippodrome Theatre is set to entertain Waco for another century.

Hand signed by Bonnie Feaster Chapa.  Art Available At Bonnie Chapa’s Etsy Store Ridin On The Right Side

Waco Hippodrome © Bonnie Feaster Chapa

Waco Hippodrome © Bonnie Feaster Chapa