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The Orange Show Center seeks to transform lives through the power of art and community. No artist better represents this mission than our 2024 artist-in-residence, California sculptor David BestBest is renowned for the immense “temples” he creates from elaborately pattered salvaged wood. Constructed all over the globe (including many of the world-famous Burning Man Festivals), these monumental public art projects are non-denominational sacred spaces that allow communities to express their deepest emotions: love, grief, joy, sorrow, celebration, and remembrance.


About The Houston Temple

About Temple
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With the support of his “Temple Crew” of experienced assistants, along with collaborations from Houston’s artist, neurodiverse, and justice-involved communities, Best constructed the “Houston Temple” as a memorial to the recent passing of key members of Houston’s creative family. This is the first temple Best has built in Texas.

The Temple will remain on view through November 2024, programmed throughout the year with weekly Thursday evening vigils, partner events, and individual tributes to departed community members. At the completion of the structure’s life, the structure will be burned in a public ceremony, releasing trauma in a spectacular and cathartic blaze. All of this activity will be documented and preserved within the Orange Show's archives.

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David Best: The Houston Temple was organized by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. Major Support was provided by Carolyn Colias, Andy and Cindy Lubetkin, Karen Oshman Lubetkin and Sue Payne. Additional Support was provided by Julia and Thomas Pascal Will Robinson and Christina Solis and Graham Gaskill.

Visit The Houston Temple

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The Houston Temple is open to the public every Thursday evening from 6-9pm from May 9 through October 31, 2024.


  • Visiting the Houston Temple is FREE, and all ages are welcome to come experience the Temple, write a note or memory onto one of the wood planks, and insert it into the structure. You are welcome to spend as little or as long with the Temple as you would like. Because the Temple is located on the Orange Show's campus, you will also have access to Paul Kittelson's Wind Field exhibition, as well as beautiful Smither Park on your same trip.

  • Parking for the Houston Temple is located at 5330 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77023. Follow the signs along the I-45 frontage road to direct you to parking and entrance into our campus.

  • Private Groups & Tours are welcome to email to schedule your visit.

Click on a date below to RSVP for an upcoming Thursday viewing







Leave a Message in The Temple


If you are unable to make it to Houston to visit the Houston Temple, you still have the opportunity to leave a message for a loved one you have lost.

Click the button below to fill out our form and have your message transcribed by a local artist onto a wood plank, which will then be inserted into the Houston Temple. Your message can be something as simple as a name, or can be a memory, tribute, dedication, poem, or more. When the temple is burned in November, your message will be as well - releasing trauma, heartbreak, and love in a cathartic blaze.

Support The Project

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By supporting the creation of the Houston Temple, you will not only contribute to the cultural landscape of our city but also play a vital role in fostering community engagement and healing through art. Your generous support will enable us to provide the resources needed to make this ambitious project a reality and ensure its lasting legacy in our community.


Your support will be honored through recognition on-site at our campus, online, and in all communications, as well as invitations to special donor events throughout the year. 


About David Best

Born into a creative family in San Francisco in 1945, Best attended the College of Marin but his studies were interrupted when he was drafted by the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. Upon his return he enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute where he earned his BFA in 1974 and his MFA in 1975. With his friend Larry Fuentes, he participated in the Institute’s annual soap box derbies, and his stylized vehicles were the logical extension of the sculpture he’d been making with cast porcelain and found objects. Selling his work never interested Best, rather it was the way it could be used to forge meaningful relationships with people in crisis: cancer patients, people with AIDS, and those with learning disabilities. Working together on art cars was an obvious way to build connections with people of various backgrounds, interests, and skill levels.

Best made his Houston debut in 1984 as one of the artists featured in “Collision: Independent Visions,” an exhibition curated by Ann Harithas at University of Houston’s Lawndale Annex that’s remembered as a catalyst for art car culture and a benchmark moment in the growth of the city’s art scene. In the decades since, he’s returned to the city numerous times, driving in several of the annual Art Car Parades and assembling the elaborate decorative façade of the Art Car Museum on Heights Boulevard.

Best built his first temple at Burning Man in 2000, "The Temple of the Mind,” a tribute to Michael Hefflin, a member of Best’s crew who was killed in a motorcycle accident a week before the event.  Seven more temples under David’s design and direction followed at Burning Man between 2001 and 2014, some rising as high as 120 feet. Additional temples have been built in Coral Springs, Florida with survivors of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and in Derry, Ireland with Protestants and Catholics who left their grievances aside to work together. In 2018 he and the Temple Crew spent a month transforming the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery into a temple for their exhibition “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.” His most recent temple, “Sanctuary," was built in 2022 in Coventry, England as a memorial to lives lost during the COVID epidemic. The Houston temple is dedicated to departed members of Houston’s creative community but Best stresses that the temple is a gift to the community which may extend its purpose to memorialize anyone’s individual loss.

The annual residency is central to the Orange Show Center’s art and education programming. It allows guest artists to create new work with the support of community and to share insight into their practice through workshops and lectures. Past artists-in-residence have been sculptor and musician Lonnie Holley (2022) and conceptual sound artist Maria Chavez (2023).

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