While Odessa is famously known for Friday Night Lights and the booming oil and gas industry, you will find a vibrant art-scene beaming throughout the city!
The Odessa Spire
As you are driving around Downtown Odessa, it’s hard not to spot the mid-century modern art piece, the Odessa Spire. The Odessa Spire stands at 109’ 7 ¾” crowning it to be the Tallest Light Art Piece in Texas. The Odessa Spire is a product from the 1950s that was originally built in the Rock Hill Springs Shopping Center and was then taken over to be known as the Cloth World sign. The local organization, Odessa Arts restored what was formerly known as the “Cloth World Sign” into the Odessa Spire in 2019. The Odessa Spire has been redesigned by artist Ray King and the can be lit in different colors to resemble the holidays or memorials.
The University of Texas of The Permian Basin Stonehenge was founded in 2004. You can find a replica of the Stonehenge built in England, in Odessa. The replica consists of 20 limestone rocks that align in the exact same layout horizontally and are 70% the height of the original.
There’s a new art festival in Odessa, and it’s called Mural Fest! At Mural Fest you will find five new live murals that will be brought to life in Downtown Odessa, along with an art market, food vendors, children’s activity area, live painted pianos, paradox immersive art traveling bus, the bike zoo, and a live concert at The Ector Theatre. Mural Fest is a free event and is organized by Odessa Arts! Plan your visit for Mural Fest on May 13, 2023.
Jackrabbit Jamboree Passport
Odessa is home to 31 Jackrabbit painted sculptures placed throughout town that all stand at six-feet tall, except Jack Ben Rabbit standing at eight-feet tall. Jack Ben Rabbit statue is located in downtown Odessa is the world’s largest jackrabbit. On your next visit to Odessa, you can participate in the Jackrabbit Jamboree Trail by downloading your passport here. Once your passport is downloaded and you check-in at 16 of the 31 jackrabbits you can win a prize!
The Globe of The Southwest
Make a visit by the Globe of The Southwest that was inspired by the William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. You will also find a replica of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage alongside the theater. There is also a Shakespeare Festival that takes place annually that you don’t want to miss out on.
Ellen Noel Art Museum
The Ellen Noël Art Museum opened in 1985 and serves as the art institute of the Permian Basin, where you can find rotating exhibits, classes, workshops, and community programs. The Museum is currently undergoing a new facelift and is expected to bring in larger exhibits and programs to Odessa.
Have you ever watched Friday Night Lights? The film is based and filmed in Odessa. A must do is to visit Ratliff Stadium and snap a picture with the stadium. The stadium has more than 18,000 seats, and as you can imagine from the movie, the stadium gets filled on Friday Night Football games.
Presidential Archives & Leadership Library
At the Presidential Archives & Leadership Library you will find portraits of every previous President up to current President Joe Biden. Along the archives you will find a unique collection of campaign memorabilia, books, photos, magazines, and other historic collectibles that shape the history of the office of the President.
Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
The Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center was founded in 2011. There are more than 150 shows that are scheduled every year with country artists, rock rands, Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, comedians, and much more. The facility was awarded the Merit Award from USITT Architecture in 2013.
The Ector Theatre
The historic Ector Theatre opened in 1951 with Loretta Young in “Half Angel.” There have been historical performances at the theater from Elvis Press, The Temptations, and current performances that are taking place to this day. You will find a variety of performances from rock bands, hip-hop shows, comedians, and more after the building was revamped in 2021.
Now it’s time to hit the road and plan your trip to Odessa! Get ready to explore our growing art scene and the town. While you look for places to stay, things to do, be sure to visit DiscoverOdessa.org to help plan your trip!