The Orange Show Monument is a folk-art environment - a monumental work of handmade architecture - located in Houston's East End. It was built single handedly from 1956 until its completion in 1979, by the late Jefferson Davis McKissack, a Houston postal worker.
The outdoor 3,000 square foot environment is maze-like in design and includes an oasis, a wishing well, a pond, a stage, a museum, a gift shop, and several upper decks. It is constructed of concrete, brick, steel and found objects including gears, tiles, wagon wheels, mannequins, tractor seats and statuettes. Each piece of the Orange Show Monument was hand-placed and hand-painted by McKissack.
Jeff McKissack's creation extols the virtues of his favorite fruit and encourages visitors of all ages to follow his theories relating health and longevity to good nutrition, hard work and eating oranges. The Orange Show is one of the most important folk art environments in the United States.
VISIT THE ORANGE SHOW
THE ORANGE SHOW IS OPEN SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS FROM 10AM-2PM
Admission is $5 and can be purchased in advance HERE. Children under 12 are FREE. Group tours, field trips, concerts and some workshops have other fees
NOTE: The Orange Show is a No Open Carry site. Pursuant to Section 30.07 we reserve the right to ask you to leave should you openly carry a firearm onto the premises.
GROUP TOURS & FIELD TRIPS
The Orange Show Monument is a perfect place for field trips designed to explore the artist in everyone! We can custom-design an unforgettable experience that includes guided tours and hands-on workshops that will be sure to make an impact. If you would like more information about fields trips and group tours to the Orange Show Monument, fill out the form below and we'll contact you shortly!
ORANGE SHOW CONSERVATION CORPS
For nearly fifty years, the Orange Show has been a cherished point of inspiration for our city’s creative community.
Constantly exposed to the Gulf Coast’s harsh climate, the monument has survived only because of the efforts of countless staff members, community artists, and volunteers spread across the generations. You too can be a part of this ongoing adventure into conservation techniques and the history of the Orange Show itself.
The Orange Show Conservation Corps is a conservator-guided, artist-facilitated, and volunteer-powered cyclical maintenance program and community social practice. The conservation plan is developed under the guidance of Briscoe Architectural Restoration of San Ygnacio and executed year-round under the leadership and supervision of OSCVA staff and designated artist facilitators who instruct in selection and use of materials and best practices. Programming occasionally features guest conservators and artists connected to the Orange Show’s previous preservation efforts.
Meetings are weather-dependent with more activity in cooler months.
For more information and to join the Orange Show Conservation Corps, email Pete Gershon at firstname.lastname@example.org
HISTORY OF THE ORANGE SHOW
"Jeff McKissack created The Orange Show in honor of his Favorite Fruit"
Houston postman Jeff McKissack created The Orange Show in honor of his favorite fruit and illustrate his belief that longevity results from hard work and good nutrition. Working in isolation from 1956 until his death in 1980, McKissack used common building materials and found objects — bricks, tiles, fencing, farm implements — to transform an East End lot into an architectural maze of walkways, balconies, arenas and exhibits decorated with mosaics and brightly painted iron figures.
When McKissack died, Houston arts patron Marilyn Oshman formed a non-profit foundation to preserve The Orange Show. The 21 original donors represent a diverse cross-section of Houston -- Dominique de Menil, Nina Cullinan, members of the legendary Texas rock band ZZ Top and East End funerary director Tommy Schlitzberger. In 1982, the restored site opened and newly hired staff began to integrate The Orange Show into Houston's cultural life through a wide variety of programs. Artists, musicians and literary figures that make Houston their home bring depth and dimension to programs, and give the public immediate access to creative thinking.
Programs focus on the Orange Show's ability to make basic elements of art tangible and accessible. Dynamic events involve at risk youth in community enriching art projects -- to date 28 murals have been created under Orange Show auspices. A library and archive document visionary artists and environments. Outreach programs encourage the public to participate in the creative process; among the most successful of these is Art Car Weekend.
Jeff McKissack with Marilyn Oshman
In 1984, The Orange Show Foundation commissioned the Fruitmobile, recognizing that the art car; a medium for self-expression, is a mobile visionary art site. This led to the first annual Houston Art Car Parade, co-sponsored with the Houston International Festival in 1988. The parade has grown into Art Car Weekend, attracting participants from around the world and including a series of events that celebrate this art form.
The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art has become Houston's hub of folk art activity with nationally respected programs. The Orange Show site is at the center of these programs, a living example of how individual vision can dramatically enrich community and culture.