Every Tuesday of the summer, Paint The Town Waco (or PTTW) holds a workshop for families in The Art Center’s studio. We love hosting this wonderful organization not only because of the fun they have, but also because of the heart behind their work.
In search of the vision of Paint The Town Waco, we had an interview with the founder, Sarah Weatherly, which has been edited for clarity.
TAC: What was your original inspiration behind Paint The Town Waco, and what is your heart behind it?
Sarah Weatherly: My desire is to connect the community to the arts. We all have a desire to be connected to a truly local, authentic art experience but sometimes feel “out of the loop.” Paint the Town Waco is committed to supporting, coordinating with, and promoting the arts as a whole in our community.
My heart is to bring art to the masses, the layperson, the creative scrapbooker who would love to learn to paint, the mom who doesn’t have time to sign up for a semester of private lessons, the couple who wants to connect on a new level, the child who is already showing crazy-talent in creative visual arts, ANYONE who could benefit from a moment away from their busy life to just “be” and create. We are all “little creators.” We take cues from nature, from life, and have a desire to recreate beauty. And it’s actually possible in a two and a half hour session with us!
TAC: Do you have any favorite moments in the process of Paint The Town Waco?
Sarah Weatherly: My very favorite moments are at the end of the night or session when someone is shocked and completely blown away at what they were able to create! The sheer satisfaction in their voice or expression on their face brings me more joy than anything! I also love a commonly asked question, “You love your job, don’t you!?” This question alone tells me something is going right. When you love what you do, it shows. And I do. I’m passionate about art and I’m passionate about people.
TAC: What do you believe the impact of PTTW has on the kids and families you work with? Why is doing art with them important?
Sarah Weatherly: I believe PTTW is impacting individuals, families and children by providing them with a unique creative experience and encouraging them through the fun and exciting process in a way that it transcends beyond that day of painting. By creating and hanging your own work of art in your home, you are making a statement. You are telling those who view it that you value the arts. You are telling your children that the hard but rewarding way may be better.
Yes, you could go to Marshall’s, and for the steal of $19.99, could take home a print on canvas to hang up in hallway that would do just fine… but this art was real. It was earned. It had a lot of hard work, love and thought put into it. It is personal. It was personalized. And it was enjoyed and celebrated with and by friends, family and strangers as it was created. You see, it’s about the experience. The creativity unfolding. We all love to see it happen, and that’s what keeps me going.