The Major Local Impact of Visual Arts in 2015

January 15, 2016

Arts are important as an outlet of expression, and artists are typically influenced by the culture and environment of the city the artist lives in. The impact artists have on the culture of an area can be evaluated by looking at a region's artistic programming, values and venues. Vickie McMillan of The Woodlands stands out as a highly celebrated conservation painter who is gradually getting more attention on a local and national stage. She won the "Best Acrylic" award from the Plein Air magazine competition, and she has also been featured in the Southwest Art magazine's "Artistic Excellence" competition. She has made a huge impact on the people of Conroe, and her accomplishments are helping the city earn a place among the nation as a thriving community for artists. However, she is just one of many artists in the Conroe area that are helping to create this image.

New Art Project Unveilings

In the past year, there have been a number of permanent art projects that have been unveiled in The Woodlands and Conroe. Proof that the area has a robust group of up and coming artists can be seen in the works of Edd Hayes, an artist who is well-known for his "Wild- and Free" artistic depiction of several stately mustangs. There is also the Mexican artist Yvonne Domenge, who created a unique red metal piece called "Wind Waves." For the steel-lover, consider the beautifully-constructed sculptures of Julie Speidel. There are also exceptional examples of steel pipe structures by New York-based artist John Clement.

The district is continually expanding and adding more art benches and areas for artists to showcase their masterpieces. The Conroe area is committed to providing support for local arts programs, and it has made significant strides by providing an outlet for artists on the national level as well.

Local residents have also found an outlet through tributes given by the renowned digital artist, Theresa Thornhill. She created a project for the Legends series, which was organized by the Arts Alliance. Her 2015 unveiling paid a tribute to the life of Collin Edwards III, who was a world champion biker. In the future, other prominent legends are expected to be featured as well.

Awards and Accommodations

The Conroe area art district gives out several awards annually. The County Art Teacher Award is given in recognition of local public school teachers. This is offered to help promote and recognize those teachers who have made significant contributions in the field of education. The Greater Conroe Visual Arts Award is given to artists who have made a local impact. The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council was also recognized for the creation and development of promotional and operational materials. This was in response to the support they provided the International Festival and Events Association in 2015. They received a gold prize for a sponsorship brochure they created.

As new ideas and an influx of collaborations has made the area more popular among people in the artistic community, the district has continued to develop new and exciting ways of promoting regional artists. They have brought in the help of the Glassell School in Houston and Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, and they have declared a nationwide visual artist invitation that continues to bring national attention and recognition to the community.