Discovery Green’s Large-Than-Life House of Cards Exhibit to Open as Planned

A Whole New Playing Field

BY // 08.28.20
photography Trish Badger, Courtesy of Weingarten Art Group

Hurricane Laura might have blown away the benefit “Car-nival” launch of the gleeful House of Cards installation at Discovery Green, but with no damage and no time to waste, the artful card trick will still open to the public on Saturday.

Co-chairs of what was originally planned for Thursday night, Matt Burrus and Michael Pearce, were surely disappointed when threat of a heavy storm blow caused cancellation of the planned drive-thru celebration. That event will be rescheduled complete with the originally planned array of performers, dessert servings, musical presentations and a fashion display of models strutting their stuff in designs fashioned from recycled-material.

But it’s on with the show, which is sponsored in Houston by Bracewell, starting on Saturday and continuing through October 11.

The clever installation, which reaches as high as 18 feet tall, is comprised of 126 larger-than-life playing cards, actually thin light boxes, each featuring an original piece of artwork. Think whimsical characters such as Elvis on the King card, a female astronaut as Queen, and a prancing deer as the design on the Jack card. By day the cards shimmer in the sunlight but the real visual fun begins in the evening when lighting within the art boxes gives the illusion of the playing cards rising and falling to the tunes of an original musical score. It will be lighted from dusk to midnight nightly.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, free, timed reservations are required for weekend evenings. Reservations can be booked here.

In addition to 40 international artists, 20 Houston artists contributed to the project, selected by a jury from 188 entries.  The Houston artists are Daria AksenovaSharon AndersonDebra BarreraVivienne DangLinh-Tran DoBill FerencVincent FinkMoni GarciaNela GarzonSebastian Gomez de la TorreSherry Tseng HillHedwige JacobsPatrick JovenHeather OhuabunwaZeus ParedesHugo PerezCarra SykesJanice TauroDavid Tsai and Jasmine Zelaya.

Israeli-based OGE Group, created the installation sensation which it describes as “a societal structure that is built by people in a cooperative effort.” Barry Mandel, Discovery Green president and park director, adds that the effort is “much like the growth and development of Discovery Green.”

The House of Cards installation has visited such diverse locations as Jerusalem, Berlin, Baltimore, Bucharest, Milan and Amsterdam.

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