Residents of The Woodlands rejoice as Artfeel, their public art appreciation show, produced by The Woodlands Arts Council, celebrates its five-year anniversary.
What is Artfeel?
Every quarter, Artfeel celebrates public art in The Woodlands and invites area residents to brave the stage and share how a selected artwork makes them feel — their artfeel. Some people sing, some dance, some play instruments, some story-tell, some show-and-tell their own art or sentimental objects from home and some say just one word — the emotion the art has evoked in them. The rules are…there are no rules…and that is the fun! Given The Woodlands has one of the largest collections of outdoor public art in the country for a community its size, there is plenty of art to celebrate.
“When the late George Mitchell created his vision of the master planned community, The Woodlands, art was included among the foundational pillars. Howard Hughes continues to be committed to the vision of art today,” says Jim Carman, President – Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Art is well represented as we boast over 80 pieces of art, showcasing various mediums from Flowers, one of the largest outdoor murals in Texas which we recently commissioned for our community, to sculptures, art benches and mosaics.”
How did Artfeel get started?
Several years ago, resident of The Woodlands Nickole Kerner Bobley was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome, two auto-immune diseases. Step-by-step, she used a walking cane to explore The Woodlands Waterway art benches as self-designed “art crawl” physical therapy program. She also kept a journal about how the different artworks made her feel. After many weeks, she finally walked her way to the final art bench in the then 14-bench collection. At this point, she no longer needed the assistance of a cane. It was a huge emotional turning point in her medical treatment plan and in the new relationship she had forged with the public art in her hometown. Soon after, Kerner Bobley approached The Woodlands Arts Council to tell them her story, and together they launched Artfeel.
Artfeel takes its showcase of art lovers on location to perform in front of the actual public artworks or presents a large photograph representation of the art piece for reflection.
Since Artfeel’s inception, noted local singer-songwriter Gideon Bustamante, aka The Painter, has played piano and sang his heart out providing a type of musical glue to bond each show together. This quickly garnered him the position of co-host. Last year, Jenny Carattini-Wright of The Woodlands Arts Council introduced Kerner Bobley and Bustamante to local dance aficionado, David Deveau. The trio hit it off and Deveau now serves as a show co-host, too.
“The performers are the heart of the show,” says Bustamante. “We’ve had police officers, plumbers, teachers, physicists, doctors, carpenters and accountants contemplate art and share performances with us at Artfeel.”
“Montgomery County needed a show like Artfeel,” says Deveau. “It brings artists and art lovers together and exposes many people to the arts for the very first time.”
Kerner Bobley believes the arts are fundamental to life in our fast moving and high-tech world. “It’s important to talk about art and talk about our feelings about art together as a community. Art is an important part of what makes us most human,” she says.
How can you attend Artfeel?
Mark your calendar for the next Artfeel on Saturday, November 5 at 7 PM at the Hughes Landing Band Shell, hosted by The Howard Hughes Corporation. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. The focus of the upcoming Artfeel is the recently installed public art bench Sound of Healing (located in Hughes Landing behind the Band Shell overlooking beautiful Lake Woodlands) as its creative prompt. Created by Michelle Old, Kevin Giuseppetti, Stacy Moore and Derek Giuseppetti, this artwork is sponsored by The Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Hermann Medical Center The Woodlands.
For more information and/or to sign up to perform at the next Artfeel please visit: www.thewoodlandsartscouncil.org/p/programs/artfeel1.