Rats frequently overstay their welcome, but there’s an exception being made for the beret-wearing “Haight Street Rat” presently on display at downtown Waco’s Cultivate 7twelve art space: The celebrated work by British street artist Banksy will stay in Waco for another month.
The work, originally stenciled on the side of a San Francisco Victorian bed-and-breakfast in 2010, was supposed to end its “Writing On The Wall” Waco exhibition on Saturday, but public interest in the piece persuaded owner Brian Greif to let it stay through Nov. 17, said Cultivate 7twelve owner Rebekah Hagman.
“It’s very exciting: The ‘Haight Street Rat’ is staying for another six weeks,” she said. “Brian was so impressed with Waco. It’s a testimony to Waco’s cultural rise.”
The artwork will move from its present location at the back of Cultivate 7twelve’s main room to a smaller gallery behind it and part of the local art shown in conjunction with the Banksy piece will accompany it, she said.
Greif’s closing “An Evening With Brian Greif” lecture will move from Friday to Nov. 16 with “Coffee and Closing Thoughts” rescheduled to Nov. 17, but the “Cocktails with the Curators” will continue to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Participating in the discussion are Waco artist Will Suarez, Austin artist Marty Lewis, Creative Waco director Fiona Bond and Luna Juice Bar owner Summer Shine.
The gallery owner was impressed with local turnout for the Banksy piece. An estimated 1,500 people filed through the gallery exhibit on the first night of its public exhibition, she said, and although advance ticket sales for an exhibit preview were low the week before, sales more than doubled to some 140 tickets in the days before the opening.
“I learned that when you give (Waco) the benefit of the doubt, they’re going to show up,” she said. A Sept. 16 lecture by street art expert James Daichendt packed the house and while attendance at a Saturday brunch was less than expected, participants included visitors who had driven from Houston to see the work, Hagman said.
Waco artists Suarez, Ty Nathan Clark and Tashita Bibles also sold paintings in the local show accompanying the Banksy exhibit, which has drawn a steady stream of daily traffic. “We’ve been so thrilled at the number of people coming in every single day,” Hagman said. Cultivate 7twelve’s regular hours are 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.
This weekend will feature the debut of Third Space Theory Coffee, with owners Andreas and Bianca Zaloumis, inside Cultivate 7twelve. The coffee cart will operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and will provide coffee in the space on mornings and early afternoons, Hagman said.
Replacing the “Writing On The Wall” and Banksy piece next week is Cultivate 7twelve’s next show “Unbound,” with local artists addressing the issue of human trafficking.