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By: Jenny Carattini-Wright, Executive Director, The Woodlands Arts Council

In early 1990s, one of the many reasons my family chose this vibrant community as home was the beautiful pathways and parks. As the Executive Director of The Woodlands Arts Council, a volunteer, and an art enthusiast, I have been privileged to be a part of the growth in public art in The Woodlands.

In 2015, The Woodlands Arts Council’s board of directors introduced a new initiative to enhance the area’s extensive public art collection.

The idea was to place art benches in The Woodlands Town Center. This public art project wasn’t just a collaboration between the arts council and the Township; it also welcomed contributions from community members as underwriters and artists worldwide to create captivating art benches. These combined efforts aimed to boost the creative economy, cultivate a sense of community, and enhance cultural tourism in The Woodlands.

The Lily Pad art bench in The Woodlands, TX
“Texas Dawn Water Lily” art bench by Kyle Thornley is located on the southside of The Woodlands Waterway across from The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. (Photo courtesy of Joan Tilton.)
“You Are Loved” art bench by Michelle Old, Kevin Gluseppetti and Stacy Moore is located along The Woodlands Waterway south of Town Green Park. (Photo courtesy of Joan Tilton.)

In the initial phase, eight benches were selected by the underwriters after the artwork was juried by a panel of judges. The underwriters were keen on seeing this project happen!  You can explore these art benches and learn about the artists listed on our website at

Fast-forward to today, and you will see a healthy collection of 33 art benches along The Waterway, Town Green Park, The Woodlands Mall, and Hughes Landing. The latest addition includes six new art bike racks, with the program expanding to new sites in The Woodlands. We are currently inviting artists to create four new art benches.

The impact of the public art program has been profound for The Woodlands Arts Council. Not only have we been able to grow our giving to art scholarships and microgrants to area schools and art organizations, but we are now being sought out from across the country for advice on building a successful public art program!

Over the years, some of my most treasured moments have been seeing people of all ages enjoy these amazing pieces of art in the Town Center. I am particularly fond of the You are Loved and Proud Souls art benches, as these works evoke a sense of peace. It has been an honor to be a part of bringing art to The Woodlands!

The Family art bench in The Woodlands, TX
“Family” art bench by Terrell Powell, is located at The Woodlands Mall. (Photo courtesy of Joan Tilton.)


Many thanks to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary Sponsors:

FOUNDING – Howard Hughes

PRODUCER – The Woodlands Township

LEGACY – Woodforest National Bank

HERITAGE – Waste Connections Inc.

GOLD – Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

SILVER – SVN/JBeard Real Estate, The John Cooper School