In a society where life is fast and we are constantly on the go, The Woodlands Arts Council encourages us to stop, think and take a moment. Quite an accomplishment, and one which is deeply seated in our community and growing steadily, a few benches at a time.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such a treasure in our midst. “The project began in 2014, after the success of The Waterway Arts Festival. The underwriting for the benches benefits the year-round education and outreach programs of The Woodlands Arts Council.” Said Jenny Wright, executive director of The Woodlands Arts Council. With the recent addition of 6 new benches, the collection now sits at 30 unique sculptural pieces.
“Public art is a key part of The Woodlands DNA as it courses through our community like a mycelium network exuding vibrant healing energy.” States Nickole Bobley, founder of Artfeel which was inspired by the Art Benches.
Artists from near and far are featured in the collection, the benches exude fun, discovery, memory, education, reflective waterside pieces, sound sculptures, interactive works, and are a wonderful tribute to our society, appealing to all age groups and walks of life.
Follow our beautiful map and make it a family venture. Rather it is a bike ride, run, or a slow long walk. There is always a bench around the corner in the heart of The Woodlands to wake up your sense of wonder.
Which is your favorite?
Powerful meanings behind each unique ART Bench
Perspective from the Artist
Angel Wings-Artist: Jim Weitzel
“I refer to my benches as functional sculpture,” says Artist Jim Weitzel, “From a technical standpoint my work is produced with the intention of lasting for decade after decade.”
With its wings that soar into the sky, “Angel Wings” carries a special message in a heart-shaped poem attached to its back written by underwriter Maria Holmes.
“Our memories build a special bridge when loved ones have to part,
To help us feel with them still, and span the years of our lives,
Preserving ties that bind, and bring us peace of mind.”
Underwriters: Frank & Maria Holmes
Location: Woodlands Waterway on the Waterway behind The Westin at The Woodlands
State of Texas-Artist: Carolina Gonzalez
“State of Texas” is made of natural and industrial elements. The sitting area is a live edge cedar board with a smooth glossy surface for comfort. The Texas-shaped metal back is a rustic and modern concept painted in the style of a turquoise gem which is symbolic of western design as well as the live edge cedar.
Local Houston artist Carolina Gonzalez hoped to create a piece of public art that reflects patriotism for the state of Texas.
Underwriters: Bruce & Diana Tough
Location: Woodlands Waterway South Pavilion trolley stop facing The Waterway
Discovery Art Bench-Artists: Michelle Old, Kevin Giuseppetti, Stacy Moore, & Derek Giuseppetti
“Discovery Art Bench” is made up of three separate structures that represent different cognitive skills. Section 1: Recognize (CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM theme); Section 2: See (THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR theme); Section 3: Feel (WINNIE THE POOH theme)
The Giuseppetti’s believe “Art and design should speak of the beauty of life and nature as well as be able to evoke positive emotions. Our art is a reminder of how much wonder there is to be explored and the discovery process that can be achieved through public art.”
Underwriters: James, Janet, Sarah, & Maggie Stilwell
Location: Woodlands Waterway between Town Green Park and South Pavilion
Seated with Santiago-Artist: Michael O’Brien
“Seated With Santiago” is inspired by the main character in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea. Santiago must overcome impossible adversity to return to shore with his catch. His heroism is in his solitary resolve and resilience, much like all of us. Worn, weary, and bearing new hard-won scars we find there is dignity and pride in the fight. Sometimes the strength is found in quiet moments, pondering the waves and what unites us.
Looking over Town Green park six other art benches are visible when sitting on “Seated with Santiago”.
Underwriters: Tom & Patricia Pursley
Location: Town Green Park, east side, upper deck behind Texas Marine Medal of Honor Monument
Free Spirit - Artist: Paul Reimer
For thousands of years and across innumerable cultures, feathers have represented a connection to the spiritual. They are not only a physical symbol of flight and freedom, but also symbolic of spiritual evolution. Universally, feathers are a positive and uplifting image, bringing to mind freedom, truth, courage, travel, spirituality and more. No matter your age or cultural background, this artwork is immediately recognizable as an uplifting symbol of freedom and happiness. The “Free Spirit” bench is light-hearted and whimsical. It speaks to the childhood wonder of discovering the world around you and spreading your wings in the pursuit of pure joy.
Underwriter: Margarita Sesma de Tricio
Location: Hughes Landing behind Lakes Edge Boat House on Lake Woodlands
Sound Healing -Artists: Michelle Old, Kevin Giuseppetti, Stacy Moore, & Derek Giuseppetti
In the artist’s words, “Our goal is to create an installation that embodies the journey to healing. We are proposing a sound element that directly relates to the windy characteristic of the site but also alludes to the tradition of ringing the bell at the end of a cancer treatment. A strategic number of delicate chimes resonate from the wind, creating the light sound of healing, while others are static with a structural function. One chime symbolizes the cancer-free journey, the multiplication of this sound reminds one that you are not alone in this journey, the delicate chimes will represent the many bells that are rung every day.”
Underwriters: Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center: Canopy
Location: Hughes Landing behind Restaurant Row under the event canopy on Lake Woodlands.
TOP TITLE: Art Benches of The Woodlands
1. ANGEL WINGS
2. STATE OF TEXAS
3. DISCOVERY ART BENCH
4. SEATED WITH SANTIAGO
5. FREE SPIRIT
6. SOUND OF HEALING
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