Visual Arts

Woodlands Art League moves into new studio space

Read more

The Woodlands Art League has a new home in the new year, having relocated into a new studio space in late December after losing the group’s long-time home in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new spot where gallery shows, classes and other workshops will be hosted under a lease agreement is the Epic Creative Co-Op located at 701 Sawdust Road.

On Woodlands Art League faces challenges from COVID-19

The move comes after the WAL lost its home in January 2020, the Studio in The Woods, after years occupying the space. The art league set up a savings fund to use for a new studio while classes remained either canceled or online. The space is now open with a limited schedule with COVID-related safety practices and requirements. Hours are primarily on weekends, officials noted.

Sara Saravo, vice president of community affairs for the WAL, said the new collaboration will be kicked off in 2021 with art shows and classes.

“Tom (LaRock) our other vice president had a connection with Vic (Cherubini). Through that connection is how we ended up getting this space and it is perfect for us,” Saravo said of the Epic Creative Co-op. “We have not had a space (since January) which has made it hard to have classes and workshops and shows. We have some classes scheduled now, mainly ‘paint outs,’ where people come and paint outside. We are rolling again (with programming). It is a huge, open space.”

The art league is one of many prominent arts groups in Montgomery County, often joining forces on projects, events and festivals with the Conroe Art League as well as The Woodlands Arts Council. The Woodlands Art League hosts a wide variety of events such as gallery shows for students and adults, individual artist shows as well as a full slate of visual arts classes including the popular figure drawing seminars which have been on hold due to COVID-19.

David Malin, president of the WAL, said in a press release that the organization’s leadership is thrilled with the new space and excited for the future.

“The league’s purpose is to further the cause and interest in the visual arts through teaching, programs, demonstrations, exhibitions, and community involvement, and to form an arts community that supports and promotes local artists,” Malin stated in the release. “WAL is a member driven, all volunteer organization. Our league is a great organization in which to meet local artists, showcase your work, and make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Ideal space

Vic Cherubini, the founder and owner of Epic Creative Co-op, said the facility — which sits adjacent to the parking lot of Hobby Lobby — was first constructed in 1999 and is an ideal space to help The Woodlands Art League.

“The art league approached me and they were looking for a space that met their needs and budget. They have leased the back room in a studio. I believe The Woodlands is short when it comes to visual arts. We have a great performing arts scene, but we need to have a stronger visual arts community,” Cherubini said.

The Creative Co-op began as a 3D video and computerized design studio that specialized in making presentations for the oil and gas industry, Cherubini noted. Now, after a 2010 expansion, a third studio is being build on the 4-acre plot of land. It is also home to Silver Rock Studios, a video and TV production facility that he said is the largest in Montgomery County.

He said he was anxious to help the WAL in its mission to both showcase art and teach it.

“One they get going, I think it will be real successful,:” he added. “There is a pent up demand for art work right now and also the instruction of how to do visual arts for those who are looking to learn.”

Saravo said the WAL has about 150 members at the start of 2021, but noted that is a lower number than normal as interest has waned in the past few years because of less opportunities at the former space, the Studio in the Woods. She and other officials are hoping the COVID-19 vaccine and a possible resumption of life as normal combined with a new, larger location will lead increased interest in 2021.

“Our membership was low. We did not have an exhibition space and people want to have a space to show their work,” Saravo explained. “We are still working to get volunteers, it is difficult. I’m hoping (the new studio) helps. We are also working with a consultant, doing a strategic plan. I feel like this year is going to be great for us.”

[email protected]

Read more

Related Articles

Back to top button