'You are LOVED' Art Bench Installation Celebrated at “Art Feel” Hosted by The Woodlands Arts Council

By: Rachel Norton
| Published 03/11/2021

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THE WOODLANDS, TX — In honor of the ‘You are LOVED’ art bench installation, The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC) held an “Art Feel” event March 10 at Market Street, where the public could express their feelings inspired by the art piece.

The strikingly red and whimsical “You Are LOVED” bench was created by Michelle Old, Stacy Moore, and Kevin Giuseppetti, all of whom work together at the regional architectural firm, Kirksey Architects. It was underwritten by Debbie & Sparky Gullo in dedication to their son, Austin.

“As we pass by these marvelous works of art, we may look at them, but do we really see them?” Co-host Gideon Bustamante asked the crowd. “The ‘You are LOVED’ art bench makes me think of courage, because it takes a lot of courage to give yourself permission to be loved,” he stated, before opening the night with his performance of an original song, The Mirror, which can be found under his stage name, “The Painter”.

There were close to 10 ‘art feels’ in total, some of which were planned and others that were spur-of-the-moment. Singers, dancers, poets, and writers all shared the stage in tandem, communicating their sentiments through song, samba, and written word.

One of the most touching presentations was from writer Teresa Kenny, who lost her mom at the beginning of last year. Due to Covid-19, she was unable to hold a funeral or mass to honor her mother’s memory. On the Art Feel stage she gave the eulogy that the pandemic did not allow her to. “My mother, much like a bench, was my safe spot to rest,” she said.

About the Art Bench Project:
Written by TWAC
“Supporting the vision of George Mitchell, the founder of The Woodlands, and the mission of The Woodlands Arts Council to promote public art and the creative economy, 24 Art Benches have been commissioned and installed in The Woodlands in 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. Each bench was underwritten by local companies or individuals that submitted answers to questions that pertained to the location of the bench and their feelings about that location. The artists then created their designs for submission and were chosen by the underwriter.

This program is ongoing and continues to beautify our community. The Woodlands has one of the largest collections of public art in the country. 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.

For more information, including a map of 20 art benches in the area, visit this link.

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