At ARTFEEL, the entire community of The Woodlands is encouraged to take the stage. 

Held quarterly, the public art appreciation show takes place on the outdoor stage of Market Street—the community’s open-air retail district. Each event spotlights a particular public artwork and asks area residents to share how that artwork makes them feel. Some people sing, some dance, some play instruments, some storytell, read a literary excerpt or perform spoken-word poetry. Others show-and-tell their own artwork in progress or share a sentimental object from home. And some say just one word—the emotion the artwork has evoked in them. The rules are there are no rules. Everyone gets two minutes or less to express themselves using the artwork in the spotlight as a creative prompt.

Now in its third year, ARTFEEL is produced by The Woodlands Arts Council and hosted by local arts and culture writer Nickole KernerBobley, with Sweekman Artists and The Sarah Kelly School of Music providing featured musical artists. The live show also serves as a gathering place for area art clubs to display their latest works and announce upcoming events, classes and workshops.

Seven years ago, I moved to The Woodlands from out of state to be closer to family. What I was hoping to find was a familial connection that had been missing ever since I moved away from Indiana, where I was born and raised. What I found, however, was so much more: An eclectic, diverse and welcoming community that I am so proud to call home. I also found a wonderful destination for meetings and events.

 

Nickole Kerner Bobley describes her childhood in The Woodlands as charmed. Summer days were spent exploring the community just north of Houston. One of her favorite activities was watching the installation of The Woodlands’ iconic public art. She and her friends would sit in awe, perched on their bikes, as the giant cranes carefully positioned the sculptures in place. It had a lasting impact on her. “I attribute my adult love of art to where I lived,” she notes.

 

Meeting Professionals International, the official sponsor of Smart Monday, has added five new programs to the inaugural day of IMEX America.

Paws for a Break

MPI is teaming up with Love Dog Adventures—a Las Vegas animal-assisted therapy program. Designed as a stress-reducing activity, several dogs will be present during Smart Monday for attendees to cuddle with. These puppy sessions are quickly becoming a hot new trend and have been featured in a number of World Education Congresses. Puppy Cuddling is sponsored by Visit Norfolk.