Southern Agenda

Outside the Box

From the 1950s through 1979, a Houston postal worker named Jeff McKissack collected scraps of metal, bricks, gears, mannequins, statues, and rogue tractor parts and then used them to erect a mazelike three-thousand-square-foot monument dedicated to his favorite fruit. “The Orange Show Monument is a performance venue inside a massive whirligig wonder wheel,” says Tommy Ralph Pace, the executive director of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art (OSCVA), the foundation that protects and promotes this site and other outsider artworks in Houston. Through exhibits, performances, classes, public art installations, and an annual springtime parade of decorated cars, “we’re poking at the notion of who is an artist,” Pace says. This fall, OSCVA caps off its fortieth year with a workshop, exhibit, and performance by the Alabama found-object artist Lonnie Holley, and a show by the Mississippi Hill Country Blues players R. L. Boyce and Lightnin’ Malcolm.