Waco Habitat for Humanity Partners With Local Artists For ReStART Exhibit

Mar 6, 2019

On Thursday the Waco Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore will host their first ever ReStART Exhibit that will feature local artists who have used recycled material in their work to benefit building new Habitat homes.  

39-year-old Waco artist Russell Campbell has been in the local arts scene for about a year and a half. His work has been shown across town in places like the Waco Winery, Klassy Glass Wine Bar and Cultivate 7Twelve. 

“I use spray paint on bigger pieces just because it covers more surface area, you can blend and a lot of times if you screw up a painting, you can actually spray paint over it and start again," Campbell said.

He is also a part of the Central Texas Artist Collective, or CTAC, a group of local artists that help each other creatively and that also grows arts and cultural programming. 

“The arts scene in Waco is really kind of just – I wouldn’t say blowing up but it’s definitely getting more notification, more recognition around Waco nowadays," Campbell said. "That’s a good thing.” 

Campbell was born in raised in Waco and lives out in China Springs. Campbell said painting has been very therapeutic for him. He also sold his first painting about a month ago. 

“You know, that’s – that’s a rush whenever you sell something. Like whenever someone’s like  'I want this in my house' - you know - that’s just like this warm fuzzy feeling that comes all over you and you’re just like – oh great," Campbell said.  "I have a whole legal pad of ideas that I want to do now.”

Campbell is one of about 35 the artists participating in the ReStART art exhibit on March 7. Artists in the exhibit are required to have their piece be at least a third of recycled material from the Waco Habitat ReStore. 

Campbell is using a recycled wooden door as his canvas and has painted and textured a giant octopus in golds, purples and ivory encompassed in a dark blue background with multicolored bubbles. It is Campbell’s first-time painting and drawing on a wooden background. 

Joanie Friesen is the marketing and public relations liaison for the Waco Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Frieson and Jay McMillen, a volunteer for Habitat, have worked together to put on the first-time exhibit for about 6 months.  

Frieson said they started reaching out to Waco schools, colleges and local artists in January to participate in the show and have seen a responsive crowd of artists. She said connecting with the Waco arts scene has been beneficial for the ReStore. 

“This is a whole new feat for Habitat and ReStore  – especially in Waco. We mainly deal with people that are doing home repairs. You know, normal, average, everyday people," Friesen said.  "These guys have created something out of doors and tables and hot water heater bases."

McMillen said they hope to raise $3,000 – but if all the pieces sell for the starting bid price they should raise close to $5,000 which would go into Habitat’s general fund. 

“Not a huge amount – but it certainly goes a long way towards purchasing materials for a new Habitat home," McMillen said. 

The opening reception for the ReStART art Exhibit will be shown at Cultivate 7Twelve on March 7th beginning at 6 p.m. for one night only. 

There are 41 pieces of art that are available for purchase in the juried exhibit. There will also be a best of show piece picked, live music and hors d’oeuvres and drinks. 

After the event the art will then be on display through March 30that the ReStore.