Join the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and The Menil Collection, as part of the first annual Authentic, Raw & True: A Weekend Celebrating Visionary and Self-Taught Artists, for an exclusive tour of four Houston landmarks, showcasing different aspects of visionary and self-taught art. Locations include:
- Smither Park - Houston's first folk art-inspired green space, dedicated to Stephanie and John Smither, avid and celebrated collectors of visionary and self-taught art. Smither Park took six years and nearly 300 artists to complete, and is a public mosaic masterpiece. The park's lead designer, visionary builder Dan Phillips will lead a tour, along with members of the Smither Family.
- The Orange Show - Built single-handedly over 20 years and completed in 1979, The Orange Show is the late Jeff McKissack's homage to his favorite fruit, and a gift to the residents of Houston. Built using found, recycled and reclaimed objects, McKissack created an outdoor wonderland of mosaic tiles, bright colors, nooks, crannies, and whimsical decorations. Now used as a concert and performance venue in the spring and fall seasons, The Orange Show is a popular tourist attraction and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A tour of The Orange Show will be led by Orange Show Foundation founder and arts patron Marilyn Oshman, along with Orange Show preservation manager Ruben Guevara.
- The Beer Can House - One of the city's most visited attractions, The Beer Can House is a folk art site created by the late John Milkovisch, a retired railroad upholsterer who spent decades collecting aluminum cans before deciding to cover his home's facade in them during a 20-year period in the 1960's and 1970's. Resisting the term "art," Milkovisch utilized every part of the beer can, fashioning them as siding to cut down on energy costs, hanging garlands to reduce sun exposure through the windows, and incorporating them into privacy fencing. In addition, the grounds of The Beer Can House are covered in intricately layed concrete, adorned with marbles and other found objects. Members of The Milkovisch family will be on hand to answer questions and give a tour of the home, along with the Orange Show's preservation manager Ruben Guevara.
- The Menil Collection - One of the country's premiere private collections of art, The Menil Collection's current exhibition, "As Essential As Dreams: Self-Taught Art from The Collection of Stephanie and John Smither" celebrates a remarkable gift from the late Stephanie and John Smither, celebrated arts colectors and patrons who passionately championed the work of self-taught and visionary artists. Often working without the intent of being shown in a gallery or museum and tending to lack forma academic training, the artists represented in the collection hail from such diverse locations as the American South and Switzerland. Menil curator Michelle White, who spend the past two years coordinating this exhibition, will lead the tour.
Tours will meet at The Menil Collection (1533 Sul Ross St.), where participants will leave to tour Smither Park, The Orange Show, and The Beer Can House and then return to The Menil Collection. The complete tour will last approximately 3 hours. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early in order to check in. Parking is available along the street and in the neighborhood surrounding Smither Park.
TWO tour times are available:
Saturday, October 1 - 1pm - 4pm
Sunday, October 2 - 1pm - 4pm