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The Garden of Peace The design for the ‘Garden of Peace’ mosaic mural was based on artist Sharon Plummer’s love of nature and the feelings of peaceful serenity and balance she derives from working and relaxing in her home garden. Sharon, an active member of the Society of Houston Mosaic Artists, and her team of three created a panel on the wall in memory of their loved ones and to evoke a sense of calmness and well being. Each artist had personal symbols of importance that became integral parts of the mosaic. The peace sign incorporated throughout the design has special significance to Toni VanZant. The large butterfly in flight was inspired by Vicki Henson’s lifelong efforts to provide safe habitats for Monarch butterflies. The small bugs and animals hidden amongst the garden flora were incorporated by Holly Beadle and her keen eye for detail. Everyone from adults to children have found delight in spotting a lizard or a ladybug tucked among the blades of grass along the bottom of the mural. Finally, the bleeding heart flowers represent the sorrow and pain experienced from losing a loved one. The mosaic niche located in the center of the mural entitled “Windows to Our Memories” is a gift to The Orange Show Center For Visionary Arts’ Smither Park from The Society of America Mosaic Artists. It was created by volunteers at the “Mosaic marathon” activity during the organization’s 2014 conference in Houston. Upon completing the ‘Garden of Peace’, Sharon and Toni began creating a tree on the pavilion’s east gallery, and we continue to watch as it sprouts colorful blossoms. To learn more about the Society of Houston Mosaic Artists visit

Blessing of The Orange Show and Smither Park. The Annual Blessing of The Orange Show now including Smither Park - is a long-standing tradition for over thirty years. The Blessing is the official opening celebration each spring to cleanse and restore these artistic environments for the new year. The 2016 Blessing was a great success! It opened with a traditional blessing ceremony by Danza Azteca Taxcayolot dance group. Once the blessing was finished, a musical performance by Richard Latimer in Smither Park continued the festivities. The neighborhood children and other guests from around the Houston area enjoyed art activities by creating Dream Catchers with the Orange Show and making Sun Prints with Houston Center for Photography. To add to the joy many guests had their faces vibrantly painted by our face painters Adults and children alike participated in dancing, Giant Jenga and Bocce Ball. We look forward to you joining us next spring on March 4th, for the 2017 Blessing of The Orange Show and Smither Park.

Smither Park’s Neighbors Smither Park has brought a new light to the surrounding neighborhood. When asked how the park has impacted the neighborhood, resident neighbor Catherine Guthrie says she and a number of residents are enthusiastic about the park. They noted their enjoyment in exposure to the park’s creativity and watching its constant evolution and embellishment. Catherine finds the park to be a magical place where one must stop and go slowly, taking in the details that overwhelm the entirety of this colorful fantasyland. Maria, a woman from the neighborhood, exclaimed her excitement about the park: “We love Smither Park! Nearly every weekend we walk our boys over to see the progress. They like looking at the colors, and our three year-old enjoy picking out the different animals in the mosaics. We’re so happy to have such touchable art in the neighborhood.” Smither Park has brought new opportunities to the neighborhood and encouraged visitors to stop by. Guthrie noted that just recently, there was a running group that used the park as their meeting place. The Orange Show and Smither Park look forward to working with the neighborhood to maintain it as a place for community enjoyment!

At long last Smither Park has its name in art! The pavilion in the center of the park is evolving into a colossal forest with swooping tree branches extending from each of the six columns. Each column, now transformed into a tree, is designed and decorated by different artists. Artists John Gregory, Gary Williams, and Sammy Hassan designed the gallery on the West side of the pavilion, and have created a larger than life tree made up of painted and decorated car hoods and a bottle tree made of welded metal and wine bottles. Kiki Neuman generously donated fanciful orange letters spelling out ‘Smither Park, which were filled and then decorated with tile by John Gregory, Gary Williams, Mary Jane Victor, Charles and Mary Anne Fried. The letters adorn the tree top, officially giving Smither Park its name plate!

The Orange Show Center For Visionary Art Board of Trustees Marilyn Oshman - Founder Lynn Mathre – President Caroline Fant Samina Farid Pamela George Steven Herzog Victor Juarez Franny Koelsch Jeffries Sharon Kopriva Gardner Landry Ashley Langley Tracy Levit Larner Don Mafrige Jr. Micheal Moore Sue Payne Thomas Pascal Will Robinson Bob Schultz Jackie O’Keefe Wallace Alvia Wardlaw Ph D

Smither Park Committee: Gena Atwell Ann DeRosa Jaci Day Krista Dumas Charles Fried Mary Anne Fried Barbara Hinton Marks Hinton Paige Johnson Victor Juarez Ashley Langley Curt Langley Madison Langley Mary Hale McLean Janet Meyer Marilyn Oshman Michael Peranteau Dan Phillips Jo Reid Mary Jane Victor Debbie Wetmore

The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is generously funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Brown Foundation, Houston Endowment, Wortham Foundation, Silver Eagle Distributors, United Air;lines, RBC Foundation, Harris County Department of Education, and Noble Energy, as well as private contributions, in-kind support, and volunteer assistance.

Marilyn Oshman Meditation Garden “...Stephanie Smither announced at a board meeting that she knew what the Orange Show should do to honor John.”

Marilyn Oshman, founder and chair of The Orange Show Center For Visionary Art was the first large donor to what has become Smither Park. Marilyn and the Orange Show Board of Trustees formed a fund to honor John Smither, with “a future park or something” after his death in 2002. The funds sat in a reserved account awaiting inspiration for the “something” which came in 2010 when Stephanie Smither announced at a board meeting that she knew what the Orange Show should do to honor John. She wanted to ask Dan Phillips if he would help create a visionary green space. The land, under Smither Park was purchased by The Orange Show Foundation in 1994 but had stayed undeveloped and unused. The board agreed that it would be a wonderful way to honor John as well as an opportunity to clean up what had become an eyesore, used occasionally as the neighborhood dumping ground for old tires and debris. During the Smither Park planning phase, Marilyn wanted to allocate a more natural space within the park as a calming respite. This space became an artistic creation from the minds of Debbie Wetmore, Mary Anne and Charles Fried. The Marilyn Oshman Meditation Garden has been a work in progress over the past year and a half. Designed to be a contrast to all other parts of Smither Park that are subject oriented and filled with color, the meditation garden is stark white – the full spectrum of all colors – and symbolizes new beginnings, light, illumination, faith, spirituality, and all of the desires we hope to find while meditating.

Together with Dan Phillips, the artist team created a unique way of placing their mosaics. Working off large, flat panels, they created their art using the white ceramics off-site, and then brought them to the location for installation. The biggest challenge throughout the project was to find a way to adhere these 16 heavy pieces to the wall in a way that was safe, durable, and fall-proof. First cemented to the wall and then screwed in place, the panels’ seams were then covered with additional mosaic pieces to create one continuous wall. There is no particular design to the meditation garden. The textures, patterns, and white gradient variations encourage the eye to move from one part to the next without settling on any on subject. The intention being to relax and clear the mind, bringing your consciousness to a place of peace. “My greatest thrill in building this was having more than one person stop and tell me how calming it seemed,” said Wetmore. Once the meditation garden mosaic is complete, vines will be planted on the back side of the meditation wall that will cascade down the mosaic wall. A large weeping willow will provide shade and planting beds along the bench wall will add more nature to the Marilyn Oshman Meditation Garden. This calming meditation area will give guests a place for quiet reflection.

2402 Munger Houston, TX 77023

Artist List Whitni Abernathy Gena Atwell Yassy Azimi Austin Mosaic Guild Kimi Bainter Winn Becton Sabrina Bedford Astrid Beyleveld Jonathan Beyleveld Neeka Billotte George Boone Therese Brandl Marilyn Brooks Shannon Bryant Sheila Bucchino Shelly Buschur Connie Carruthers Janet Clemenson Kevin Coflin Peter Conaty Susan Conaty Al Denson

Auna Denson Barbara Denson Maria Dunn Becca Duron Lulu Elizaga Deborah Elliot Ben Flannery Ann Marie Foster Sam Freedman Charles Fried Mary Anne Fried Abel Gamez Desdamona Gamez Isiah Gamez Maribel Gamez Matt Gifford Matt Gorgol Darrin Gowin John Gregory Lori Hamm Vicki Hansen Sammy Hassan

Barbara Hinton Marks Hinton Jamie Hogue De’Andre Holmes Carol Ison Melissa Ison Sonya Janycek Benjamin Jarrett Thomas Jeff Jennings Paige Johnson Collin Kelly Kate Kendall Dan Kallus Sharon Kienitz Rachel Kizielewicz Ann Lange Mike Lange Luis Lara Esther Lee Melinda Lee Bob Maninger Melody Manning

Michael Martinez Jack Massing Max Massing Anna McClain Lisa McClain R. Blake Miller Gigi Miller Eddie Morroquin Brock Nedland Lisa Nigro Akiko Noma Hiro Noma Gordana Nguyen Carol Peters Dan Phillips Marsha Phillips Phoenix Commotion Sharon Plummer Mayte Porras Shelly Pottorf Holly Powel Tyra Rankin

Melissa Lee Richard Russell Richard Alex Rhodes Anthony Rhodes Nancy Rivera Kelli Robinson Corazon Rodriguez Steve Saldierna Sam Houston State University Dalzenia Sams Jesse Sifuentes John Kerr Smither Stephanie Smither Kelly Snook Society of American Mosaic Artists Dianne Sonnenberg Alisha Squire Hyland Squire Trevor Squire Roman Squire

Sheila Stoll Dennis Starks Mark Toth Rafael Trevino Serafin Valdivia Toni VanZant Mary Jane Victor Arti Vir Sarah Ward Josh Weiss Garrett Welch Megan Welch Edie Wells Debbie Wetmore Lisa White Gary Williams Linda Zapalac

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Smither Park Newsletter 2016  
Smither Park Newsletter 2016