City Lifestyle Houston: Enriching lives through the access of art

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Tucked inside the iconic local architectural gem, formerly known as The Woodlands Homefinder Center, is The Glade Cultural Center and Arts Foundation. Brainchild of longtime local resident Dragos Tapu, Glade Gallery opened its doors five years ago as the first contemporary fine art gallery in The Woodlands. A treat for art enthusiasts, Dragos established a much-needed fine arts venue in a community that was lacking one. With the overwhelmingly successful reception of Glade Gallery, Dragos realized that there was a much greater need for cultural events and activities in The Woodlands and in 2017, the Glade Cultural Center and Glade Arts Foundation, the nonprofit arm, were formed.

While Glade Cultural Center provides a unique accessible fine arts experience and curated museum-like exhibits showcasing local and international artists as well as acclaimed private and public art collections. Glade Arts Foundation’s mission is to give back to the community with programs focused on art education, scholarships and community based public art projects.

The museum housed within the Glade Cultural Center, is The Woodlands first museum for contemporary art, film, and visual culture in its widest sense. Glade Arts Foundation Museum bridges the relationship between artistic questions and wider societal issues, between the regional and international, artists and public, tradition and innovation, reflection, and presentation. It features a permanent collection of early oil paintings by David Adickes, a world-renowned Huntsville-born artist and creator of the massive Sam Houston statue.

Profiling artistic practices bound against the conventions of figurative art, The Glade Gallery portion of the Cultural Center highlights the diversity within contemporary art and fuels the synergy that describes the creative exchanges between American and European art today. Bringing together outstanding artists of diverse generations and genres, Glade gallery gathers around the various modes of representation that have come to define figurative art in recent decades, as well as affirming its enduring urgency. Reflecting upon the resonances of the multifaceted contemporary art, the gallery intends to unfold new approaches to the creative act, ultimately offering both the artists and the public the preferred landscape in the building of greater future scenarios. Glade gallery also offers art brokering, appraisal, restoration, and conservation services.

Since its opening, Glade Cultural Center has also offered live music and intimate concert series ranging from symphonies to jazz performed by local and visiting musicians that can be enjoyed within a museum setting.

With the onset of the pandemic, like so many art and live music venues, Glade Cultural Center was forced to pivot from regular operations. Since many of their scheduled in-person exhibits and concerts had to be canceled, Glade Arts Foundation used the technology available at the center and quickly turned to an alternate online approach. With the Glade Arts Foundation being a nonprofit organization, they were able to set up a fund dedicated to supporting the musicians and artists. At a time when many musicians and artists were struggling, the Glade Arts Foundation found a way to support local artists.

Local saxophonist Woody Witt and vocalist Tianna Hall, who have both performed at the Glade Cultural Center, worked with Dragos to curate and launch a new concert series that was broadcast live on Facebook from The Woodlands gallery. They opened the gallery for musicians to come and perform and an online donation option was set up for all wanting to help support the performers. The response was astounding. Since March, local artists and musical groups have gathered at the center several times each week to share a variety of music with viewers from The Woodlands and throughout the world.

Even when the venue was able to open back up, the Glade Arts Foundation made a decision to continue to give all the funds collected from the performances directly back to the performing artists as the gallery gets ready for new artist exhibits.

The latest addition includes works from artist Katya Du Pond who was born in Mexico City. From an incredibly young age, Katya showed interest in the arts and stood out for her remarkable creativity. As a teenager, she took painting courses that led to the awakening of her love for art.

Katya completed her studies at the Art Institute of the city of Houston as an Interior Designer, which expanded her passion for color and textures but always with the vision of conveying a deep message. Since her beginnings, her works highlight color and expression evoking strong feelings and intense messages that lead to different interpretations according to the perception of the observer. An opening reception was hosted at Glade Gallery in early November and her artwork will be available to view and purchase at Glade Gallery through December.

Glade Cultural Center also offers a unique setting for public and private events. Architecturally stunning and educationally rich the space offers a unique experience both inside and out. The facility is a full-service venue perfect for any type of event or special occasion. Equipped with full A/V and advanced technology to support any needs and full-service catering services to provide simplicity in event coordination.

As the air gets crisper and the days grow shorter, we recommend making it a point to visit the Glade Cultural Center and Arts Foundation. The serene and beautiful setting is guaranteed to bring peace and maybe even foster an appreciation for fine art.