LOCAL Houston | The City Guide November 2016 - Page 42

COMMUNITY NOW OPEN Houston’s First Folk-Art Inspired Green Space On September 30, Houstonians from all walks of life joined the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art to celebrate the grand opening of Smither Park, a vibrant new cultural asset in Houston’s emerging East End, with music, food, performances and an art market. Built over the past six years in a space adjacent to The Orange Show, Smither Park is dedicated to the lives of JOHN and STEPHANIE SMITHER, long-time folk art collectors and celebrated arts patrons. John Smither believed that art brought beauty, civility and inspiration to our daily lives. With his creative vision and intellect, he believed that anything was possible. Smither Park was built under the direction of visionary builder and designer DAN PHILLIPS, in collaboration with nearly 300 artists from across the country. An amphitheater, pavilion, swingset, meditation garden, and coin tower are anchored by a 400’ memory wall, with each piece adorned with hand-placed mosaic creations made from recycled and found materials and by local artists and those interested in exploring their own creative potential. Smither Park will be an artistic venue for leisure-time activities, as well as the ceremonies of life, including weddings, picnics, performances and meditation. By Tim Moloney Photography courtesy of The Orange Show 42 L O C A L | november 16