ART EVENT “David Best: Houston Temple” at Orange Show Center for Visionary Art

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ART EVENT “David Best: Houston Temple” at Orange Show Center for Visionary Art

June 20 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


MAY 9 – OCTOBER 31, 2024 | WEEKLY ON THURSDAYS at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM: Experience the beauty of David Best’s “Houston Temple” built in honor of those lost in Houston’s creative community at Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. The first temple built by the artist in Texas, it will remain on view through November 9, 2024 supported by weekly vigils, partner events, and individual tributes to departed community members.

Leave a message for a loved one you have lost by writing a wood plank, which will then be inserted into the Houston Temple.

California sculptor David Best is renowned for the immense “temples” he creates from elaborately pattered salvaged wood. Constructed all over the globe (including many of the world-famous Burning Man Festivals), these monumental public art projects are non-denominational sacred spaces that allow communities to express their deepest emotions: love, grief, joy, sorrow, celebration, and remembrance.

At the completion of the structure’s life, the structure will be burned in a public ceremony on November 9, 2024, releasing trauma in a spectacular and cathartic blaze. All of these activities will be documented and preserved within the Orange Show’s archives.

ABOUT ARTIST DAVID BEST: Born into a creative family in San Francisco in 1945, Best attended the College of Marin but his studies were interrupted when he was drafted by the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany. Upon his return he enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute where he earned his BFA in 1974 and his MFA in 1975. With his friend Larry Fuentes, he participated in the Institute’s annual soap box derbies, and his stylized vehicles were the logical extension of the sculpture he’d been making with cast porcelain and found objects. Selling his work never interested Best, rather it was the way it could be used to forge meaningful relationships with people in crisis: cancer patients, people with AIDS, and those with learning disabilities. Working together on art cars was an obvious way to build connections with people of various backgrounds, interests, and skill levels.

Best made his Houston debut in 1984 as one of the artists featured in “Collision: Independent Visions,” an exhibition curated by Ann Harithas at University of Houston’s Lawndale Annex that’s remembered as a catalyst for art car culture and a benchmark moment in the growth of the city’s art scene. In the decades since, he’s returned to the city numerous times, driving in several of the annual Art Car Parades and assembling the elaborate decorative façade of the Art Car Museum on Heights Boulevard.

Best built his first temple at Burning Man in 2000, “The Temple of the Mind,” a tribute to Michael Hefflin, a member of Best’s crew who was killed in a motorcycle accident a week before the event.  Seven more temples under David’s design and direction followed at Burning Man between 2001 and 2014, some rising as high as 120 feet. Additional temples have been built in Coral Springs, Florida with survivors of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and in Derry, Ireland with Protestants and Catholics who left their grievances aside to work together. In 2018 he and the Temple Crew spent a month transforming the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery into a temple for their exhibition “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.” His most recent temple, “Sanctuary,” was built in 2022 in Coventry, England as a memorial to lives lost during the COVID epidemic. The Houston temple is dedicated to departed members of Houston’s creative community but Best stresses that the temple is a gift to the community, which may extend its purpose to memorialize anyone’s individual loss.


Orange Show Center for Visionary Art
2334 Gulf Terminal Dr.
Houston, TX 77023 United States
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(713) 926-6368
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