Beer Can House
We have discussed a wide variety of artists throughout our numerous excursions, and today, we chose to check out the single masterpiece of John Milkovisch, a man who never considered himself an artist. In fact, during the 18 years that Milkovisch worked on his creation, he always seemed amazed by the number of people who considered it art. He claimed that he was just doing what he loved.
And what is this piece of art that took nearly two decades and over 50,000 beer cans to make? The answer is none other than Houston’s own Beer Can House – yet another property of The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.
Upon stepping out of our car, one thing hit us right away, and that was a soft tinkling sound that floated through the air. It was almost otherworldly. However, it didn’t take long to locate the source of this metallic rustle. The Beer Can House is surrounded by hanging garlands of beer can tops and bottoms that sway into each other whenever a breeze starts to blow.
We then headed to the back of the house, paid our admission and walked inside. While the entire outside of the bungalow is covered in beer cans, the inside is almost entirely empty (other than the cans on display). This is because Mary Milkovisch, John’s wife, told him that he could do whatever he wanted to the outside of the house, but the inside belonged to her.
And for those 18 years, John stuck to this agreement, plating the house in flattened cans and paving the yard with concrete and old marbles. The result is a colorful spectrum that’s created when the sunlight hits the glass-encrusted walkways or the metallic dressing of the home.
The Beer Can House is an ideal representation of the imagination and can-do attitude that exudes from Houstonians. Whether it’s impressionism or just good old-fashion folk art, Houston has it all. It’s a city that supports art and all the colorful people who create it.
• Parking is along the street, so be mindful of driveways and no parking signs.
• Admission is only $2, but you can get a guided tour for $5.
• We suggest going to The Orange Show the same day you go to the Beer Can House.
222 Malone St. between Memorial Dr. & Washington
During summer months Wednesday- Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Free Street Parking