Houston celebrated Dia de los Muertos in vibrant fashion last Saturday when the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art hosted its 37th anniversary gala. Four hundred guests filled the Crowne Plaza NRG for dinner, an art auction, and dancing, raising over $400,000 for the organization.
Between the decor (an altar of traditional Mexican sugar skulls, an enormous skull sculpture photo backdrop, a blacklight forest), the entertainment (fortune tellers, tarot readers), and the costumes (flower crowns, elaborate face paint, technicolor wigs), there was no mistaking this year's theme, "Ofrendas y Flores."
Over 100 works from artists like Bert Long Jr., Sharon Kopriva, Pedro Friedeberg, Dan Havel, Forrest Prince, James Bettison, Richard Stout, Carlos Hernandez, The Art Guys, Rachel Hecker, Gail Siptak, Jerry Honnell, and more were auctioned off throughout the night. Guests also danced to Earth, Wind and Fire hits—performed live by three of the band's original members—from The Celebrity All Star Band.
The gala's fundraising efforts will support the organization's mission to preserve, promote, and document visionary art and foster community that values creative expression. The Center does this through restoration and management of folk art sites like The Orange Show and the Beer Can House and Houston's first art-inspired green space, Smither Park, plus the production of the beloved Houston Art Car Parade, the oldest and largest gathering of its kind in the world, slated to hit downtown for the 32nd year on Saturday, April 13, 2019.