The highly-anticipated grand opening of Smither Park—a colorful urban space in the East End by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art—is taking place this weekend.
Designed by visual artist and builder Dan Phillips and constructed in honor of Houston folk art philanthropists Stephanie and John Smither, this sparkling addition to the neighborhood was inspired by the Smither and Orange Show's philosophy of promoting and sustaining self-taught art.
After nearly six years of conceptualizing and construction, the park is filled with the handiwork of more than 300 artists from across the country who meticulously crafted mosaic artworks from donated materials, including broken dishes, mugs, glass, trinkets and an endless array of found and recycled items.
The park is anchored by a memory wall spanning 400 feet that features more than 50 panels designed by different artists. The park also boasts an amphitheater in the shape of a fish emerging from the ground, a pavilion that appears to be held up by shimmering trees, and a dragon-themed swingset, all adorned with intricate mosaic works.
The park plans to host regular events—concerts, performances, movie screenings, workshops—and will also be available for private rentals. The grand opening is tonight at 7 p.m. The park is open to the public beginning on Saturday, October 1.
Grand opening tickets start at $25. Ticket sales go toward the ongoing maintenance of Smither Park. 2441 Munger St. 713-926-6368. orangeshow.org