Houston’s Orange Show Appoints Tommy Ralph Pace as New Executive Director

by Christopher Blay December 14, 2020
Tommy Ralph Pace, the Orange Show's new Executive Director.

Tommy Ralph Pace, the Orange Show’s new Executive Director.

After a year-long search for a new Executive Director, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art in Houston has appointed Tommy Ralph Pace to the position. The former Deputy Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and Pratt Institute graduate has worked in arts administration for more than a decade. Pace will begin his new role on January 4, 2021.

Pace took over from Interim director Ten Eyck Swackhamer, who held the position after Lynette Wallace’s departure. Sue Payne, Orange Show Center for Visionary Art Board President states, “Tommy’s training, experience and dynamic personality provide us with the exceptional opportunity to move the organization forward, advancing plans the Board has been working on for some time now. We look forward to introducing him to Houston, and Houston to him.”

Says Pace: “The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is one of the nation’s leading arts organizations dedicated to visionary and self-taught art, and I am excited to grow the reach and impact of its mission to empower personal artistic expression and create communities where that expression is valued,” He continues: “During this unprecedented time in our history, and with a deep belief in the restorative power of the arts, I am honored to begin working with the organization’s Board of Trustees, staff, and the greater Houston community to plan the expansion of its cultural programming and physical spaces, as well as execute a new strategic vision.”

The Orange Show, The Beer Can House, and Smither Park are part of the 39-year-old Orange Show Center, which also produces the annual Houston Art Car Parade.

“We welcome Tommy to Houston and have no doubt his extensive knowledge of fundraising, audience engagement strategies and curatorial expertise bring the organization into a new chapter as we approach our 40th anniversary,” says the Orange Show Center’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus Marilyn Oshman. “As Houston continues to grow and diversify, and opportunities for advancing the digital aspects of art curation and education continue to expand, it’s important that we remain relevant to our mission of creating avenues for personal artistic expression and celebrating the artist in everyone.”

For more about the Orange Show, please visit its website here.


The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art preserves, promotes, and documents visionary art environments, provides opportunities for the expression of personal artistic vision, and creates a community where that expression is valued. 

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