Custom Text

Art & Culture

The Woodlands Arts Council reveals six new Art Benches

By  | 

The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC) revealed six exciting new Art Benches on October 13 at a celebration attended by artists and underwriters held at the Woodforest Club at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. This brought the total Art Benches in The Woodlands to thirty.

View photos from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook page and on Instagram:

“We are delighted to share that six new Art Benches have been installed by The Woodlands Township and are ready to be enjoyed by our community,” said James Stilwell, President of the TWAC Board. “We congratulate the artists and underwriters on their admirable contribution to The Woodlands collection of public art.”

The six new Art Benches include: 

Sound of Healing The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench
Sound of Healing – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

Sound of 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 Cancer Survivorship Center

Location: Hughes Landing behind Restaurant Row under the event canopy on Lake Woodlands.

Free Spirit – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

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

Seated with Santiago – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

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

State of Texas – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

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 – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

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

Angel Wings – The Woodlands Arts Council Art Bench; Photography by Joan Tilton

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


TWAC began the Art Bench program in 2015 to seek local, national and international artists and designs for permanent installations along The Woodlands Waterway. A unique combination of form and function, the Art Benches draw adults and children alike. Some benches are interactive, such as The Urban Conga bench modeled after a xylophone, or glowing as in the Light Balls Bench, or the giant yellow Woodlands Wind-O, an architectural bench, as well as benches reflective of the natural surroundings as in the fanciful Umbrella Tree Bench. The Woodlands Art Benches can be found from The Woodlands Mall, to The Woodlands Waterway, Town Green Park, and Hughes Landing on Lake Woodlands. To see photos of all 30 Art Benches, download a map of the locations, and read more about the artists and their inspiration, visit

The Woodlands Arts Council is the producer of Fidelity Investments The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival set for April 14-16, 2023. To join the Art Lover’s program or to donate, visit the website at

The Woodlands Arts Council provides regional, cultural, and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support and promote the visual and performing arts in our community. From the award-winning Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival to public art installations and the year-round community and educational outreach programs of Because Art Matters, the council has one primary goal … making our community better, Because Art Matters!