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Art Bench Project

To support our mission to promote art in the community, twenty Art Benches have been commissioned and installed in The Woodlands through a partnership with The Woodlands Township.

Walk from The Woodlands Mall to Town Green Park and visit Hughes Landing to enjoy the beauty and practicality of these one-of-a-kind Art Benches designed by local, national and international artists.

Phase IV Art Benches are being planned for The Woodlands Waterway in the fall of 2020. For more information on becoming an underwriter, contact us!


“Foot Rest”

BY ROD FLOWER

Rod Flower, a Woodlands resident since 1998, enjoys a diverse art background that includes portraits, murals, illustration, sculpture and set design. A graduate of Oregon College of Art, Rod combined his love of narrative art and history in recreating scenes for galleries specializing in western art. Since 2005, Rod has drawn inspiration from collaborating with other artists, theater directors and interior designers in creating 3D artworks in foam.

With this versatile medium, used in conjunction with faux painting techniques, Rod had discovered his niche. From whimsical to classical sculpture, foam allowed Rod to interpret and combine elements of fantasy and realism, architecture and nature. Rod’s work can be found in collections from Canada and the United States, to Colombia, Brazil and France.

Yellow bench with colorful footprints on the backing
Underwriten by: Dr. Robert & Renee Neville 
Glasswork bench with blue glass flowers
Underwritten by: Benchmark Hospitality International 

“Caetano’s Peace”

BY ROLLIN KARG

Rollin Karg is a renowned glass artisan from the Midwest who designs and creates small and massive sculptural pieces from molten glass, usually shaped in a freeform, asymmetrical manner.

He brings the glass to life through his dynamic use of color, especially dichroic colors – a color that transmits one color while reflecting another – which adds a unique dimension to the piece. While Karg prefers to use traditional techniques of glass making that are thousands of years old, he also adds his own inventive techniques to each project. It is amazing and awe-inspiring to watch him create massive works of art through the use of a five foot blowpipe.

Although Karg spent the first part of his career as an industrial engineer, photographer, potter and woodworker before becoming a full time glass artist in 1983, he has quickly gained notoriety for his contribution to the world of glass art. He has won many awards in competitions and shows throughout the United States and his work has been shown at galleries and exhibitions throughout most of North America.

"Light Balls Bench"

BY MANFRED KIELNHOFER

Manfred “KILI” Kielnhofer visited the technical College Linz where he took his final exam in 1995. Kielnhofer’s most famous work is, “Guardians of Time”, Festival of Lights (Berlin) at the French Cathedral, Berlin, Velotaxi 2011. In 2010, he developed the concept of Light Art Biennale Austria. His work includes both Public Art and exhibitions around the world including Berlin, Dubai, Venice and to the U.S. including New York, Michigan and Texas.

His work has been published since 2005 in Contemporary Arts magazines and collectible books including Masters Contemporary Arts in 2008 and EYES IN, cover page of World’s Innovative Creators & their Masterpieces.

Bench with neon glowing balls holding wooden planks as seating
Underwritten by: The Howard Hughes Corporation 
Abstract stone bench
Underwritten by: The Woodlands Arts Council 

“Crete Bench Rest”

BY VICTORIA GOLDSTEIN

Victoria Goldstein, owner of VG Studio, is an international award-winning design/architectural design/urbanism firm based in Houston and Buenos Aires. They design across scales and are involved in projects activating public space, buildings, furniture, interiors, installations and exhibitions. VG Studio operates on boundaries between art, architecture and technology.

Crete Bench Rest was a class project overseen by Victoria Goldstein who is a Graduate Level Design Studio Professor at the University of Houston.


"Stardust"

BY ELIZABETH AKAMATSU

Elizabeth’s art can be categorized into four themes: examining nature, searching for identity, telling stories, and expressing through geometric form. In her statement, she shares her thoughts such as seeing a triangle, square or circle as an "instant gestalt". She refers to these basic forms as “the sacred geometry”. “They hold a great visual power that all human beings can understand at a gut level. Think of the Great Pyramids in Egypt; their simple form rivets us with its overpowering grandeur. Think of the unassuming sugar cube; when examined closely with a magnifying glass, its beauty is breathtaking. And lastly, visualize the circle; it is a symbol of perfection and union understood around the world.

Elizabeth was born in Yokosuka, Japan and holds a MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. She was an Assistant Professor of Art from 1990 – 1995 until she became a full time artist in 1995. From the east coast to the west coast, her work is shown in galleries and exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico.

Red geometric bench
Underwritten by: David & Brenda Gottlieb 
Bench with amber backing that holds fossilized leaves
Underwritten by: Woodforest National Bank 

“Amber”

BY LUIS PAVON

Luis Pavon’s first contact with art was with a painting of Sagasta Street in order to be accepted into an annual course in Architecture. Between 1966 and 1975, he completed his study at the School of Architecture of Seville and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. In Fuengirola, Malaga he directs as lead Architect with about 1,000 projects carried out between Costa del Sol Canary Islands and Morocco. His enthusiasm for artistic activity in general lead to his being named the Vocal Culture School Board Architects 1990 Malaga and founder of the Art Gallery of the College of Architects.

Pavon traveled from Malaga, Spain to be part of the unveiling of Phase 1 of The Art Bench Project in The Woodlands, TX. “Amber” weighs over 100 pounds and is made out of wood, corten steel and amber. Inside the amber are fossilized leaves that seem to float when the sunlight hits them.

“Hail and Farewell Henry Moore”

BY BOB MOISER

Bob Mosier, artist and teacher at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands, is a child of the Midwest. The insight, sensitivity and wit with which he plies his art also serve to guide and nurture his students. He is a phenomenal teacher.

Bob lives and maintains a studio in The Woodlands, North of Houston, Texas with his wife Karen Fearon, where they share a 4 acre oasis from urban adventure with 2 daughters, 2 dogs and 2 cats. He claims to have never met an art material he did not like. With respect for tradition, unburdened by reverence; it is all art in the making.

Bob was inspired to use African mahogany after seeing a wood sculpture by Henry Moore. “I want people to see it as a sculpture, then once they get a closer look, realize it’s a bench” said Mosier in a Houston Chronicle article. “It has four seats, with all different views”, he added.

Wood bench
Underwritten by: Rob & Cindy Hardin 
Piano bench
Underwritten by: The Cynthia Woodlands Mitchell Pavilion 

“Ode to Joy”

BY DAN SKAGGS

Dan Skaggs holds a Masters Degree, Sculpture – C.S.U.L.B. (California State University at Long Beach) and has special commissions and exhibitions around the U.S. and New Zealand. He has won numerous awards including the Purchase Award at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. He taught Crafts & Sculpture for the Long Beach Unified School District, 3-D Design at Design Institute of San Diego, and Fine Arts, Product Design & Perspective Drawing at the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach, CA.

Ode to Joy is a piano made of white marble and black granite keys. The bench’s back is a staff with music notes that, when played, are Beethoven’s famous “Ode to Joy” melody.

"Family"

BY TERRELL POWELL

Born in Angleton, Terrell Powell’s latest body of work reflects his memories and strong ties to rural life growing up in Texas. He paints a variety of media including oil, acrylic, and oil pastel with an increasing amount of work being produced on cutout metal.

Terrell’s work is inspired by past experiences, dreams and observation of the everyday life. Appreciative of bold and direct self- expression, Terrell’s artistic influences include children’s artwork and outsider or primitive artists.

Colorful bench with birds as the backing
Underwritten by: Gordy and Michelle Bunch 
Stone-like bench with trees on either end
Underwritten by: Village Medical Centers 

“Family Tree Bench”

BY DON LAWLER

Don Lawler, a professional stone sculptor from Stephensport, Kentucky, spent quite a bit of time chronicling his progress in creating Family Tree Bench. He started with a 9,000-pound stone that was more than ten feet in length. In his first blog post, he wrote about upgrading the scope of the project from six feet to eight feet wide.

In his second posting, his work concentrated on removing large sections from the center of the rock to create the bench shape. The project is completed in his third posting, showing close-ups of the detail in his leaf forms. The last and final posting details the precarious installation at the site via crane.

“Umbrella Tree”

BY DAN SKAGGS

Dan Skaggs, from Laguna Beach, California, is a repeat artist with the art bench project. His first bench, Ode to Joy, is a whimsical curvilinear form that uses piano keys for the bench and musical notes for the upright back. Professionally, he has installed more than 200 water features and waterwalls for various clients including Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, California.

Skaggs says that, for him, "Umbrella Tree" is a metaphor for the “universal pleasure of sitting under the shade of a tree, leaning back against its trunk and looking up into its canopy.” He feels that the bench serves as a map, providing both a sense of place and a sense of belonging to its location.

Circle bench with slender metal tree coming out of the center
Underwritten by: The Shedden Family 
Green bean-shaped bench with yellow, orange, and red circles
Underwritten by: Gayle & Todd Kuoni 

“Bean”

BY VALERIE THEBERGE

After graduating from San Francisco Art Institute, Valerie Theberge moved to China to study the Chinese language and Chinese painting. She later trained in Hong Kong with a British company that specialized in the art of mosaics.

She currently resides in Washington, DC, and her portfolio includes projects in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, India and the United States.

"On the Bayou"

BY JOHN V. WEBER

Does this scene look familiar? Galveston artist John V. Weber channeled our Gulf Coast beautifully in this nature-inspired bench, right down to the details of the just-caught fish in the bird’s mouth.

Seating circling a tree stump with a bird on top
Underwritten by: Peggy & Ray Wilcox 
Rectangular granite bench
Underwritten by: Mitchell, Peggy, Nicholas and Patrick Hausman 

“Mipenipa”

BY CHRIS MILLER

Chris Miller is a Vermont sculptor working with Granite, Wood and Marble. Chris began carving in 1976. Although largely self taught, he studied art in college and then anatomy and sculpture with the late Lothar Werslin of Sandgate, VT, drawing and anatomy under Billy Brauer of Warren, VT and worked alongside and collaborated with several of the county's top stone sculptors in nearby Barre, Vermont.


“Unmasked Symbiosis”

BY GASTON CARRIO

Gaston was born in Argentina where he began his studies of architecture, but drawing and painting have always been a part of his life.

After moving to Houston in 2012, Gaston gave up his successful career in architecture to become a full-time artist. His paintings are collected nationally and internationally.

In 2017, he began training and purchased the latest technology to transition into sculptural work. Gaston has published two books, Art by Architects-New York 2009 and 2011 Collection - Los Caprichosos. He is currently working on a 10-year retrospective of his work: Gaston Carrio 2007-2017.

Red lightening bolt shaped bench
Underwritten by: Strike 
Wood bench with metal leaf-like backing
Underwritten by: Jeff and Deborah Coburn 

“Quercus”

BY OWEN DIXON

Initially trained as a welder at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Ontario, Canada, Owen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from NSCAD University in Halifax and studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Académie in Amsterdam.

Owen uses salvaged steel objects, tools, car parts, and other discarded items to create what he describes as “freehand plasma cut historical patterns into salvaged tools and other salvaged steel.”

“The Woodlands Wind-O”

BY STEREOTANK

STEREOTANK is a design studio founded by Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, dedicated to the research and exploration of the common grounds between architecture, art and sound.

They both graduated from The School of Architecture and Urbanism of The Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2005 and pursued a Masters of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, graduating with honors in 2007.

Ertorteguy and Valente spent 10 years working in architecture and public art in New York City before moving to Miami in 2017. They currently teach at Florida International University School of Architecture.

Big yellow frame bench
Underwritten by: Michael & Vicki Richmond 
Flat rock as a bench with metal tree on the side
Underwritten by: The Dorman Family, In Memory of Matt Dorman 

“Resolute”

BY PAUL REIMER

Paul believes that art is about forging connections; connections between places, cultures and ideas; between the past, present and future and most importantly, between people. At the age of 15, Paul began his blacksmith apprenticeship at the Kootenay Forge. When he was 20 years old, he became the head blacksmith at the Fort Steele Heritage Town, located just outside of Cranbrook, British Columbia.

Resolute represents the strength and resiliency of nature, and its dogged determination to survive in spite of great adversity. The image of nature growing and thriving in spite of hardship gives a feeling of emotional fortitude, which is reinforced through the use of iron and stone. It symbolizes the strength we can gain from connecting to nature and each other. The hand-forged iron tree is galvanized and finished in a natural steel patina, attached to a rock base.

“Proud Souls”

BY GASTON CARRIO

In the words of this internationally acclaimed 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.”

“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.”

Silver bench
Underwritten by: Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center 
Blue xylophone bench
Underwritten by: The Alex & Sharon Sutton Family 

“Why Sit When You Can Play”

BY THE URBAN CONGA

The Urban Conga is a design firm focused on promoting community activity and social interaction through play.

Three architecture graduates started the firm and were looking for a way to create interactive installations that could begin to activate underutilized spaces within their city.

The idea wasn’t just to create something cool, but to create something that is functional. That specific function would be to bring play and activity into an area.

Art Bench Photography by: Joan Tilton

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