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A Mosaic Wonderland in Houston’s East End

Nestled in Houston's East End is The Orange Show Visionary Arts Center. Famous for the “Orange Show Monument”, the inside of the building is closed until 2025 for restoration. However, the interior of The Orange Show isn’t the only attraction located at 2441 Munger St. Located in its backyard, is Smither Park, a community park created from upcycled art.

Smither Park, the first folk-art-inspired park in Houston is a communal labor of love. The mosaic park project began in 2011 by the Orange Show, Stephanie Smither, and multimedium artist and builder, Dan Phillips, to commemorate the life of Stephanie’s husband and art patron, John Smither. Over 300 artists were involved in the building of Smither Park with assistance from popular grants from Houston organizations such as the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts.

According to a 2021 article from Oxford Arts Online, artists have become increasingly “concerned about the impact of their materials on the environment.” Using fewer art supplies with toxic ingredients and repurposing materials has become trendy, which is a great motivator for patrons of Smither Park to ensure its conservation.

Arguably, the most impressive art piece at Smither Park is the Memory Wall which spans 400 feet in length. Some of the 60 mosaic panels embedded into the wall include “TSU Tigers” which features a throne for a royal photo-op, and another panel named “Heart” which is an in-progress art piece filled with porcelain ornaments and housewares. 

Park-goers can take photos, and swing on the giant bench swings, decorated with mosaics along their legs. There is also a pavilion and amphitheater that hosts live performances and art shows throughout the year. 

Smither Park is open from dawn until dusk and is free to the public. To learn more about Smither Park and the artists who created the mosaic structures within the park, visit  

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