Fun For All At The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival
Get Ready For Culinary Treats, Musical Performances And World Class Art, April 7-9
By Melanie Saxton
The Woodlands Arts Council is once again transforming the Waterway into a wonderland of artwork, music and cuisine. Visitors are invited to three spectacular days of food demos, live performances and exhibits from 225 artisans.
“We are excited to bring a remarkable arts experience to the community!” says Kayleen Barton, events director, noting that there is truly something for everyone at this nationally ranked outdoor celebration.
Festival Fast Facts
This year’s Festival is scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 7-9, at The Woodlands Town Center and Town Green Park located at 2099 Lake Robbins Drive. Guests can wander the scenic Waterway from the Marriott Hotel to Grogan’s Mill Road.
A 3-day Festival Unlimited Pass costs $15 online or $17 at the door (see thewoodlandsartscouncil.org/shop). Enjoy access at any time all weekend, with free admission for children under 12. A great VIP Terrace Hospitality Package is available for $75 and includes complimentary small bites, beer and wine, presented by Glade Gallery and Van Dys Fine Jewelers.
Meet Local Talent
“We are thrilled by the quality of the entries this year and the outstanding talent of the exhibitors,” says Heather Joy Puskarich, artist management coordinator of The Woodlands Arts Council. The fact that so many local artists will appear in person is a bonus for aficionados and fans. Anyone who aspires to become a professional artist can attend art workshops and meet exhibitors such as Houstonian Claire Roche, who says, “When I am making a mosaic, any type of glass is fair game — stained glass, mirror, glass tile, millefiori and glass gems.”
Lisa Morales, also from Houston, specializes in mixed media and constructs pieces from a variety of painted, textured paper. Betsy Barry, a botanical artist from Kingwood, creates nature pieces with colored pencils. Lisa Hilton from Conroe creates art from recycled objects, including broken instruments and sound equipment donated by local bands and DJs.
Gaston Carrio, Tony Paranå, Leticia Frankio, Anne Byrd, Cindy Cherrington, and Charlie Hardwick are also from Houston. Rebecca Schner and Steve Basham are from The Woodlands, Franky Cardona is from Spring, and Joel Stanulonis is from Katy. Overall, their artwork represents a variety of categories ranging from “emerging artists” to “digital arts.”
Dine, Drink, and Dash for Art!
Don’t miss the party of the year on Friday, April 7! The Art Dash is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands, The Woodlands Mall and The Woodlands Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, where the event will be held. This is a favorite destination for collectors and fans of the arts. Enjoy mingling with the 2017 Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival artists and DASH for art in the famous 60-second Art Dash.
The first 2,000 visitors at the “First Look Friday,” sponsored by MD Anderson Cancer Center, will receive a complimentary 3-piece Featured Artist postcard set. Guests can also bid at a live auction for Lilly, Terrell Powell’s featured artwork.
Cuisine and Music
What better way to spend a weekend than enjoying a mix of master chefs and music? Come hungry and enjoy Art of Food demonstrations by the finest culinary crews. Scrumptious cuisine prepared by visual artists will be showcased on foodie stages in Town Green Park. Festival fare, craft beer and desserts from distinctive menus will please even the most demanding connoisseurs. A wide variety of food trucks have been added to the line-up this year and will be stationed throughout the festival.
Bands and musical artists will perform live on four stages: 1) the Palette Café, 2) the Watercolor Terrace Stage, 3) the Arts & Culture Stage in Artopoly, and 4) the Craft Beer Garden Acoustic Stage. The Sarah Kelley School of Music, Woodlands Showcase Choir and the Houston Choral Showcase will perform.
Additional musical acts include Rattletree School of Marimba, Vinyl Stripes, Terri Hendrix, George Navarro, Lain Gray Trio, Katumbella, The Captain Ledge Band, Tony Ramey, Aurora Bleu, Table4Free Evolution, Muddy Belle, The Josh Fuller Band, Folk Family, Dave Becker Band, Kelley Peters Trio, Max Flinn, Sam Ehrnstein, DJ Mac Big Band, Girl Firday, Elijah Bossenbroek, Michael Player, Shane Walker, The Old Common, Frank Martin Gilligan, Hillary Moore and Mikayla Griffin.
Shop ’Til You Drop!
The Festival also provides a unique opportunity to purchase pieces from national artisans representing a diverse pool of talent across 14 categories. All are selected in a rigorous jury process, and only the highest quality clay, fiber, metal, sculpture, wood, printmaking and photography creations are on display. Shoppers can anticipate a full spectrum of unique décor and handmade apparel, including rocking chairs, animal-inspired art, jewelry, shawls, pottery and more.
Those who enjoy buying ahead can stock up for special occasions, such as Mother’s Day or the December holiday season. There is no better time to find the perfect sculpture or ornamental piece for home or office, as well.
Behind the Scenes
It takes a combined effort of 650 volunteers to prepare for an anticipated crowd of 18,000. The Festival is meant to be fun, but also has a deep social purpose. Missy Check, community education and outreach director, states, “We are dedicated to creating a better community through the arts, Because Art Matters.”
All proceeds, including gate tickets, go to year-round community and education programs. The Woodlands Arts Council gives back in an annual donation to five Charity Partners: The Woodlands Art League, The Woodlands Children’s Museum, Ann Marie Hopkins Art Alliance, Conroe Art League and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The organization also gives out $22,000 annually to its Student Scholarship program, and more.
All is made possible through community support, generous donations and grants. This year, the sponsor of the Official Luxury Vehicle is Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands. The Official Beer sponsor is Stella Artois. Anchor Sponsors include The Woodlands Development Company and The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Connect with The Woodlands Arts Council
Follow the excitement online. Fans can catch updates on The Woodlands Arts Council Facebook page or visit thewoodlandsartscouncil.org, their new website. Buy discount tickets online before the festival and keep up to date on all the news, parking information, directory and more.
As always, The Woodlands Waterway Festival provides a memorable experience for thousands of families who enjoying shopping, dining and playing in the great outdoors. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience one of the most highly anticipated events in The Woodlands!
Featured Artist Terrell Powell
Terrell Powell is an Angleton native who lives in Austin and draws upon his memories of growing up in rural Texas. The influences of children’s artwork and outsider or primitive artists are reflected in his mixed media 2D oil and acrylics on canvas, wood and metal. “Spontaneity is very important to me — the chance for something to just happen in a painting. The uncertainty is an essential aspect of making art,” he notes. His highly collected work hangs in galleries, offices, hospitals and homes across the nation.
His beautiful piece, Lilly, was selected as the featured artwork for The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and was the inspiration behind the 2017 marketing and merchandising initiatives.