Fancy a walk in the art park?
Houston doesn’t get enough credit for its art scene. Whether its our museums, otherworldly exhibits, or myriad of street art galleries around town, Houston awakens the artist in us all. Experience a vibrant blend of nature and art at Smithers Park, a creative urban space filled with technicolored mosaic installations, a meditation garden, a whimsical set of swings, and more! [Featured image: @crownedandcultured]
Smither Park, located at 2441 Munger Street at the corner of Third Ward and East End, is operated by The Orange Show Center For Visionary Art – the same organization behind the Art Car Parade and Beer Can House. As such, Smither is embedded with the same quirky and endearing community-driven artistic flair.
On a mere half-acre of land, Smither Park manages to fit an open-air museum of terrific interactive mosaic installations. At one end of the park sits the magnificent Lindley Fish Ampitheater, a grand arching mosaic masterpiece resembling that of an anglerfish. The stage normally hosts a variety of live performances throughout the year.
You can find the wonderful Vinson and Elkins Pavilion in the center of the park. Set under a roofed canopy dappled with discarded bottles, the pavilion is intended for parties and group events. Its design simulates that of a forest; each column is built like a tree, whereas its interior and exterior features mosaic leaves, faces of tropical animals, and glistening greenery.
As the park’s website posits itself: “Can you really have a park without swings?” Its answer is a set of bright red family swings framed by an immaculate dragon-inspired mosaic installation designed by Lisa Nigro.
The park also includes a intentionally colorless Meditation Garden. Here, visitors are encouraged to reflect on the intricate details of the art piece – all made from common-place repurposed items.
Smither organizers and artists are committed to sustainability, which is why all featured works are built from recycled materials, discarded and/or donated objects.
The park is a commemoration to John Smither, the late husband of Stephanie Smither who worked with visionary artist and mastermind, Dan Phillips, in creating a public space that celebrates self-taught artists. Over time, over 300 artists have contributed mosaic pieces to the park.