The Orange Show
Houston postman Jeff McKissack created The Orange Show to honor his favorite fruit and illustrate his belief that longevity results from hard work and good nutrition. Working from 1956 until 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 passed away, 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 that celebrate the artist in everyone.
Programs and events include the world-renown Art Car Parade Weekend, community murals involving at-risk youth, a library and archive documenting visionary artists and environments, Eye-Opener Tours that explore the unique sights, sounds, and tastes of Houston and beyond, concert and film series from local and national acts, and much more.
The Orange Show site, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is at the center of these programs, a living example of how individual vision can dramatically enrich community and culture. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is publicly funded, receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Houston and Harris County through the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, Brown Foundation, Houston Endowment, Wortham Foundation and other charitable foundations and individuals.