When George Mitchell planned The Woodlands township, he and his wife Cynthia were determined to make art one of the defining features of the community’s landscape. Today, The Woodlands boasts more public art than any other community of its size in the nation. No matter where you look – from the deer that adorn the entrances to the sculptures relaxing on the roadsides and in the lakes, art is very much a part of daily life here – even when you just want to take a seat.
The Woodlands Arts Council’s Art Bench Project is one of those clever undertakings that exposes people of all ages to amazing artistry without some even realizing it. The first phase of the project, which included the design and installation of eight unique benches, concluded in 2014 and the second phase added an additional six benches in 2016. The benches, which adorn The Woodlands Mall, Waterway Square and Town Green Park, represent a captivating mix of art and functionality.
The benches have been underwritten by local businesses and community members and seek to expose everyone who visits them to a wide array of art mediums and methods. At the moment, there are fourteen benches in total, ranging from whimsical (Family Bench and Ode to Joy) to colorful (Bean and Stardust) to breathtaking (Family Tree Bench and Caetano’s Peace).
The next phase of the project will introduce another six benches, which are currently in the underwriting and design approval phase. The newest benches should be unveiled sometime in 2018 and some will find themselves in the newest Woodlands hot spot, Hughes Landing.
The next time you find yourself strolling alongside The Woodlands Waterway or through Town Green Park, why not pause for a moment of quiet reflection on a unique piece of art?