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Art & Culture

TWAC to unveil Six New Art Benches in October

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – In anticipation of the unveiling of six new Art Benches in October, The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC) is proud to present a ‘sneak peek’ of two of the magnificent designs that have been selected by the Art Bench Committee to be installed in the third phase of the project. Six new benches will be installed by The Woodlands Township along The Woodlands Waterway and in Hughes Landing in this phase, bringing the total to 20 art benches for residents and visitors to use and enjoy as part of the growing public art collection in The Woodlands.

The underwriters had the opportunity to select both the bench sites and the final bench designs. Deborah and Jeff Coburn chose their bench location because they desired a high traffic area that would be utilized frequently by the patrons of Hughes Landing.  “Our goal for the art bench is to demonstrate that human creativity, expressed through art, can be incorporated into everyday life,” said the Coburns. “We see the design as the intersection of the buildings and the natural aspects of The Woodlands, both expressed in the wood-grained concrete bench and the dendritic veins of a leaf.”

The art bench “Leaf Vein Bench” will be installed in Hughes Landing. Artist: Owen Dixon of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Underwriters: Jeff & Deborah Coburn

Josh Urban, Senior VP and CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center & Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital said of their selection: “Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center was the recipient of the Memorial Hermann Health System’s President Cup Award – an internal recognition honoring the highest achieving hospital in our 16-hospital system. With the money received from this award, we looked into a way to give back to the community and making a contribution to the Art Bench Project through TWAC seemed like a perfect opportunity.

“The location of the bench was just as important as the design,” Urban continued. “We selected our bench to be directly across from Riva Row Boat House. This is not only a beautiful area surrounded by waterfalls and family/community outings, it is also the ‘Swim Exit’ to the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas event.”

“The employees, physicians and volunteers at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center wanted the bench to convey how proud we are to have been our community’s healthcare provider for over 33 years and how important our community involvement is to all of us who live and work here. The bench went above and beyond our expectations and we can’t wait to unveil it to our community.”

The art bench “Proud Souls” will be installed along The Woodlands Waterway. Artist: Gaston Carrio of Houston, TX. Underwriter: Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.

Gaston Carrio, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, created the bench that was chosen by Memorial Hermann. He began his illustrious career as an international architect and designer but relocated to Houston to pursue his passion of being a full-time artist.

“Everything starts with the union of two strong souls, coming together and raising families who work together to build communities that nurture future generations to repeat the process,” Carrio said. “I envisioned this bench as a place for individuals to reconnect and recharge with each other; a place to rest and reflect on the people and the community who supported and inspired them. The Woodlands itself is a symbol of success. My hope is that this bench serves as a tribute to such triumph, the wings like arms reaching up to the sky in victory.”




“We wish to thank all of the talented artists who submitted artwork for this phase of the project along with our generous underwriters and the members of the Art Bench Committee,” said Theresa Terrell, TWAC Art Bench Committee Chair. “We also extend our gratitude to The Woodlands Township for their help with site selection and installation as well as maintenance of the bench collection, and Howard Hughes Corporation for allowing us to choose magnificent sites in some of the most visible and scenic locales in our community.”

An unveiling ceremony for the six new benches will take place in October. The new benches will also be featured in TWAC’s online ArtFeel blog and monthly ArtFeel interactive presentations at Crush Wine Lounge.




The Woodlands Arts Council provides regional cultural and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support and promote the performing and visual arts in our community. TWAC is now seeking underwriters for Phase 4 of the Art Bench Project through December. There will be 5-6 benches in the fourth phase that are expected to be installed in October of 2019. For more information about becoming an underwriter for the Art Bench Project, call Wendy Paynter, Development Director for TWAC at 713-504-6432 or visit