In 1981, with a handful of members, The Woodlands Art League began meeting at the Trinity Episcopal Church. Area artists were invited to demonstrate their talents while members sat in the church pews. Artwork was exhibited along the walls of the sanctuary. And the league grew. Meeting locations shifted to accommodate WAL’s growth and development. A partnership developed with the Woodlands Corporation who provided a space for WAL. The Wharf in The Village of Grogan’s Mill was one of the spaces. WAL utilized this space to establish a Gallery.
By 1984 WAL membership had grown to over 100 artists. Art classes were organized and sponsored which created a need for additional space. A psychiatric hospital along I45 provided that space. The Woodlands Inn building provided gallery space. WAL began to sponsor national level workshops by Tom Browning, Mary Jane Cox, Bill Kalwick, Bob Rohm, Betty Carr, Bobbie Kilpatrick and more.
The new Montgomery College Art Gallery opened in 1985. WAL began regular quarterly shows with members sitting the Gallery daily.
In 1999-2000 WAL sponsored the Lone Star Art Guild (LSAG) Convention at The Woodlands Inn and Resort Center, organizing over three hundred and twenty-five artists, nine demonstrators, and four national workshops to attend.
Trademark Properties offered a space at Market Street to WAL, who gratefully accepted and created the Local Color Gallery. This also marked WAL’s 25th Anniversary. The Gallery was open for close to a year, offering a highly visible venue for members to exhibit and sale their artwork to the community.
At the 30th Anniversary of WAL, Trademark Properties once again welcomed WAL to establish Gallery space at Market Street. This space was large enough to accommodate children’s and adult art classes, workshops, and painting groups. As WALs prestige and community awareness grew, so did its membership with numbers in the four hundreds.
Although the space at Market St was much loved, it was not meant to be permanent. As a donated space it was soon filled with retail shops, and the decision was made to rent independent space. WAL moved to Grogan's Park, but, at the end of 2015, decided to close that space sue to rising costs and the unsuitability of the property for classes and workshops which are the heart of the art league. We are now moving forward and renting studio and office space in Studio in The Woods, long a community art venue, and we are looking forward to creating a bustling art work space, with classes, workshops, exhibitions, and working space for our artists.
In the last year, we have increased our visibility in The Woodlands area, with ongoing exhibits in the South County Community Center, a newly designed website with member galleries and contact information, art hanging in local restaurants, and we have even more planned for the coming year!
We have always supported the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival since its inception, and now we have entered into a new phase of charity partnership. WAL will be responsible for the Community Art Project at the festival, and also will be responsible for artist demos throughout the three days.
Over the years WAL has sought to promote local artists in our community, and to help our community with our art and volunteerism. We’ve been a charity partner with The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival Council for the past seven years, Habitat for Humanity for the past three years, the Woodlands High School Orchestra and Arts Department for the past several years, along with various organizations that provide opportunities for us to share our talents. We keep adding to our outreach, and many members can be relied on to donate time and work for other charities.