Wild Meadows Art Collective opens Saturday in Kempner
By BRITTANY FHOLER
A refurbished barn turned dance studio is the home of the newly formed Wild Meadows Arts Collective.
Stephan Gaeth, co-owner and co-founder of Wild Meadows Arts Collective, hopes that the barn turned dance studio will be a safe place of healing for people who come out.
The building is located on his mother’s property in Kempner and has been renovated from serving as a storage space to a place for creative souls to come together.
Gaeth and his partner moved back to the area due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, and Gaeth was working as a waiter at Something in Between in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center to save money for this endeavor.
Gaeth is a 2009 alum of Copperas Cove High School, and was one of the first and only male Copperette dancers during his time there.
Gaeth has been teaching burlesque and yoga at the Healthy Hub for about a year. Prior to that, he taught at various studios in San Antonio and also did some modeling, theater, improv comedy and poetry.
“I'm kind of just reformatting that into this space, recreating that in a way, but also focusing really on what this community needs,” Gaeth said about this new studio. “San Antonio needed something else. Here, there's a lot of disconnect, I feel, from creative beings, and as adults, we tend to be told we can't or that our time has passed.”
Wild Meadows Arts Collective will offer yoga classes, different types of dance classes, visual arts and theater shows. Gaeth said he hopes to be able to bring in some of the shows that he used to do at the studio he owned in San Antonio.
Wild Meadows Arts Collective will also serve as the home base for the Central Texas Pride Community, which is described as an organization “made to hold space and create action in the LGBTQIA+ community,” according to their website.
The Tiniest Pride in Texas was held earlier this year in June on the same property, Gaeth said. It started when Gaeth posted on Facebook looking for people to do a movie night on another property and turned into a large gathering of people at Gaeth’s mother’s property, with drag queens, food trucks, vendors and an estimated 200 people in attendance.
People wanted to give donations and help support this type of effort, and so, after some time, the Central Texas Pride Community came into being.
Opening Wild Meadows Arts Collective is about more than dance, yoga or visual arts, Gaeth said.
“Being very queer then, being very queer now and realizing that there weren’t resources for me as a kid then, and so how Pride started out was I wanted to just see who was out there,” Gaeth said. “[I’m] trying to bring a lot of that energy into the community here for arts and its healing aspects- I work a lot with adults. I'm not really running a kid's studio. We’re not going to be doing little kids’ recitals, so it's more for adults and more for the healing aspects of art, theater and a canvas for our creative selves.”
Gaeth said that people come to his burlesque classes expecting them to just be silly and fun “shimmy and shake” classes.
“In reality, they leave crying or rejuvenated because it was just such a strong impactful class, and we do have a lot of fun,” Gaeth said. “It is a lot of shake and shimmy, but we also talk about really deep subject matters, and we relate dance to our lives because it's extremely relatable content. It’s this really great metaphor for what's going on in our reality. Using this space to connect adults connects the local community back to art, back to their creative selves.”
He hopes that Wild Meadows Arts Collective will serve as a space for whomever needs it.
“Hopefully, it's one of those ‘Build it and they will come,’” Gaeth said. “Provide space, and people will arrive when they need to find it. Also, admitting that it's partially a healing space even for myself. After COVID and after moving and traveling, I haven't been dancing, and I haven't been active in my personal art, so missing out on that healing aspect for myself. Providing this space and kind of this unique environment, I think it's just going to take a moment for people to wake up to the fact that this is something they can use and how can they use this.”
Classes at the Wild Meadows Arts Collective will begin on Sunday, September 26, with an Intro to Yoga class at 8 a.m.
Monday classes will include Meditation at 6 p.m., Advanced Yoga at 6:30 p.m. and Workout Stations at 8 p.m. Tuesday classes will be held at the Healthy Hub, with Basic Yoga at 5 p.m. and Burlesque at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday classes will include Workout the 100s at 5 p.m. and Restorative Yoga at 6 p.m. Thursday classes included Intro to Yoga at 5 p.m., Ballet at 6:30 p.m. and Burlesque at 7:30 p.m.
Classes are $10 a person.
Wild Meadows Arts Collective will be holding Grand Opening on Saturday, September 25, featuring live performances, a tree planting and an introduction to the people who will be occupying this new space.
The Grand Opening will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run through 10 p.m.
Wild Meadows Arts Collective is located in a red metal barn at 3034 F.M. 2313 in Kempner.
To reach Wild Meadows, follow U.S. 190 west out of Copperas Cove, take a right at the light for F.M. 2313 in Kempner. The farm will be approximately 2.7 miles on the left.