What: “Texas Legends, Tall Tales, and Marvels” gala
Where: The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art World Headquarters
The scoop: More than 700 colorful Houstonians recently toasted The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. The gala celebrated the organization’s 38th anniversary at its World Headquarters, transforming a newly acquired, 31,000-square-foot warehouse into a one-of-a-kind visual wonderland — complete with a twinkling tunnel entrance, inflatable bull riding, body painters, art cars and art bikes, live ice sculpting, tarot and tea readers, buskers and caricature artists, and musical performances from The English Beat and Bag of Donuts.
Coordinated by gala décor chair Jack Massing, a group of over 40 local artists hand crafted the decorations displayed throughout the evening, keeping with the theme of “Texas Legends, Tall Tales, and Marvels.”
A record-setting fundraiser for the Orange Show, this year’s event raised over $900,000 to further the organization’s mission of celebrating the artist in everyone, while also continuing restoration and management of two of the country’s most important folk art sites The Orange Show and The Beer Can House, the continued construction and maintenance of Houston’s first folk art-inspired green space Smither Park, and the production of the annual Houston Art Car Parade, the oldest and largest gathering of its kind in the world and one of Houston’s most beloved events.
Chaired by Karen Lubetkin Desenberg and Cindy and Andrew Lubetkin, the event honored their mother and founder of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, Marilyn Oshman.
As former board president of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston where she hand-picked Jim Harithas to serve as director from 1974-1978; as a current board member and former head of the collections committee for The Menil Collection; a current board member of Raw Vision Magazine; a former board member of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Houston Ballet and Texas Parks & Wildlife; and as a private collector and patron, Oshman has been at the epicenter of one of the greatest regional art scenes in the country for more than 50 years.
During the event, a surprise appearance from Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed the day as Marilyn Oshman Day, and surrounded by her family and friends, Oshman addressed the crowd thanking them for their support of the organization over the years and her excitement about the future.
The auction is well-known for its diverse and sought-after collection of art, objects, and experiences. Auction chairs Erica Levit and Lance Rosmarin produced a nearly 200-piece silent auction featuring exquisite works from James Surls, Sharon Kopriva, Bert Long, Jr., Gajin Fujita, Thornton Dial, McKay Otto, Michael Tracy, The Art Guys, and many more. Exclusive tours of the Menil Collection Treasure Rooms, dinner at Marilyn Oshman’s home, a week-long trip to a hacienda in San Miguel de Allende, jewelry, clothing, dinners, and more were featured in the silent auction that raised over $200,000.
Who: Each year guests are encouraged to dress up for the theme, and this year’s “Texas Legends, Tall Tales and Marvels” brought out a bevy of recognizable Texas personalities including Marvin Zindler, Willie Nelson, Ann Richards, ZZ Top, Kinky Friedman, the Marfa Lights, Beauty Queens, Anna Nicole Smith, Dr. Red Duke, and more.