Arts Explosion in The Woodlands

Cultural Arts Throughout the Community 

Nickole Kerner Bobley

May 08, 2018

The Woodlands is a cultural arts destination of its own.

From The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Inspire Film Festival, Glade Gallery and Glade Cultural Center, the arts are afire in The Woodlands!

The arts give social identity and cultural backdrop to our society. They are a mirror of who we are and what we want as a people.

“No great civilization has ever existed without art,” says Amy Lecocq, former President of The Woodlands Arts Council. “By enhancing the quality of life, arts help attract and keep residents and businesses in our area.”

Art in The Woodlands began in the late 1970s with the placement of public art in every village and continues as an important community legacy to this day with a 70-piece collection, one of the largest collections of outdoor public art in the country. In April, the Glade Cultural Center opened its doors to provide residents and visitors with a world-class fine arts museum and cultural arts center housed in what was previously known as The Woodlands Welcome Center off Woodlands Parkway.

“We have been passed the arts torch that others have carried including The Woodlands Arts Council with its Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with its premier concert offerings,” says Dragos Tapu, Glade Cultural Arts Founder and President of Sales. “We feel a great sense of honor and responsibility.” 

In addition to the annual arts festival and myriad community outreach programs, The Woodlands Arts Council will install five new art benches on Lake Woodlands and in Hughes Landing later this year, and research for The Woodlands to seek an official Arts District designation is already underway.

With art as a foundational pillar, it is not surprising The Woodlands now boasts a bevy of artists working across all mediums. From circus arts performer Betz Demonico who helms The John Cooper School’s Performing Arts Dance Department to Darryl Bayer’s artistic direction of The Woodlands Area Youth Symphony and The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra to oil painter Erin Hanson, the featured artist of the 13th annual Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, artists are thriving in our area.  

Although this art boom may feel new, it is 43 years in the making— with a commitment to the importance of public art coupled with the vision and passion of artists, art patrons and volunteers, both old and new, whom can now all stake a claim in making The Woodlands a cultural arts destination of its own.

Art Images: 1. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2. Glade Cultural Center, 3. Art Spirit Reborn by Sue Burke Harrington, 4. Hope Happens by Sheri Hope, 5.Mediated Gaze by Shaun Griffiths