From Waco 52 to Waco 7twelve, art finds a home on Austin Ave.

Call it good timing, call it fate. Rebekah and Jeremy Hagman are calling it Waco 7twelve

Just as the Waco 52 exhibit is moving out of 712 Austin Avenue, a whole new arts and culture endeavor is moving in.

Newlyweds Rebekah Hagman, 33, and Jeremy Hagman, 39, recently moved to Waco from southern California, looking for somewhere to plant roots and join a community.

Jeremy quickly landed a job with Waco Independent School District. Then one evening the couple wandered into the Waco 52 pop up art exhibit and fell in love with the space.

It’s the kind of space they were hoping to create in Waco, over time. Instead, Rebekah found herself at breakfast with the current owners of 712 Austin the very next day. And the ball just kept rolling.

The changing of hands of 712 Austin and the birth of Waco 7twelve is happening at a brisk pace.

“That’s part of the gift of Waco 52 and the momentum it started,” Rebekah said. “Everyone wants the space to stay alive. There’s a desire not to let that flame go out.”

As Waco 52 wraps up its one-month pop up experiment, there will be one week of down time, next week, and then the doors will reopen as Waco 7twelve, featuring new local art. Rebekah and Jeremy then have a three-month trial period to bring their vision to life.

The first curated exhibit at 712, titled “Transformation,” will open in October and a formal grand opening will follow in November.

Despite using words like exhibit and gallery, Waco 7twelve is about more than art. For Rebekah, it’s about culture and Waco culture specifically. It’s about distilling Waco’s essence, its Waco-ness. It’s about being a hub of Waco culture as it’s expressed through art, goods, food and drink.

“I want this to be a space that tells Waco’s story as it’s evolving,” she said.

There will be studio space for artists to rent upstairs and a shop and food/drink area downstairs.

Rebekah said bringing Waco 7twelve to life is going to take the whole community.

“We need to have vendors partner with us. We need to keep getting fresh and great art in the space,” she said. “My hope is that each person who ends up with some kind of ownership in the space feels like they are part of something bigger than themselves.”

Anyone interested in submitting artwork for consideration for the Transformation exhibit should send it to [email protected]

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