Arts / Galleries

Arty Bike Racks Take Over The Woodlands, Turning Town Center Into a Striking Wonderland — When the Everyday Becomes More Fun

The Art Is Everywhere In This Unique Community

BY // 10.30.23
photography Joan Tilton

Public art remains a huge part of what makes The Woodlands special and the township’s art collection recently grew by five arty bike racks. These distinctive bike rakes were presented to the community by Glen Rector, president of The Woodlands Arts Council, and Jenny Carattini-Wright, The Woodlands Arts Council’s executive director.

“All created by local artists, the bike racks are all in the town center area,” Rector tells PaperCity The Woodlands.”We will have installed six art bike racks (soon). They allow each of us to enjoy and contemplate the art of sculpture. We’ve seen these art pieces as backdrops to major events such as wedding proposals, family pictures and also minor events.

“A child reading a book or neighbors having a conversation.”

Each arty rack was presented by the artist and the underwriter, and all shared “origin” stories and inspiration behind the bike racks.

“Joyous Journey,” the work of Jana Zaatreh, was underwritten by the family of Chris and Jayla Davis, in honor of Jayla’s mother Nola.

“The end goal of this was to have something as a reminder of people to seize the day and find joy in the simple things in life,” Zaatreh says. “As cliche as that sounds. . . but I walk my dog everyday here and I passed by this bike rack and I hope it reminds everybody to find joy in the simple things.”

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“Faith, Hope & Joy” was created by Robert Heintzelman for the Stilwell family.

“I’ve always loved the public art pieces that the Arts Council has because the public art takes something that is ordinary, and makes it extraordinary,” James Stilwell says. “We really love the way that that art transcends the every day and lets the people in the community experience something more than just every day.”

Three riders are represented in the "Faith, Hope and Love" bike rack from artist Robert Heintzelman. (Photo by Joan Tilton)
Three riders are represented in the “Faith, Hope and Love” bike rack from artist Robert Heintzelman. (Photo by Joan Tilton)

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion underwrote a bike rack at the Pavilion and, appropriately enough, it is a representation of the opening notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

“In merging nature and music for a practical bike rack for The Pavilion, what better musical notes on a hedge next to a violin than the opening motif of the Fifth Symphony?” Carattini-Wright asks. “This is the sound of fate knocking at the door as set by Beethoven.

“Even though Karolina Gonzalez has been an interior muralist for over 20 years, she’s always wanted the opportunity to create art pieces in public areas.”

The 5th Symphony Hedge bike rack is at The Pavilion, and was created by Caroline Gonzalez. (Photo by Joan Tilton)
The 5th Symphony Hedge bike rack is at The Pavilion, and was created by Caroline Gonzalez. (Photo by Joan Tilton)

The artists behind “TWTX” — Michelle Old, Stacy Moore and Kevin Giuseppetti — all are from The Woodlands, and they used colors of their beloved home for the rack they created, sponsored by the Elmi group.

“The Woodlands, Texas is known for the abundance of nature and strong sense of community,” Carattini-Wright says. “The artists of this bike rack believe that art and design should speak at the beauty of life and nature as well as be able to evoke positive emotions. They wanted this bike rack to be a reminder of how much art can influence community.”

A fifth bike rack named “Reflections” will be installed shortly.

“I just want to express how grateful we are that we could do something to give back to this extraordinary community that has hosted us for 35 years now,” Bruce Reiser says. “And we’re grateful to be able to to provide the funding to do this.”

These new pieces join the existing 31 public art benches and bike racks located along The Woodlands Waterway and on the shores of Lake Woodlands in Hughes Landing. Carattini-Wright is quick to acknowledge the role of The Township in this arts partnership.

“As you know we promote it,” Carattini-Wright says, “We ask for underwriters. We bring in the artists. We curate the designs, and then The Township takes over. So their duty is to install it, and then take care of it for up to 10 years or longer depending on its longevity.”

The Woodlands Arts Council provides regional, cultural and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support and promote the visual and performing arts in the community. From the award-winning Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival to public art installations and the year-round community and educational outreach programs of Because Art Matters, the council has one primary goal — making The Woodlands more arty. And an even better place to live.

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