The Chairy Orchard: Empty Lot Turned Quirky Art Exhibit

 Photo by Tanner Tovar

Photo by Tanner Tovar

If you live in Denton, you know the growing community is full of some strange, yet beautiful pieces of art. “The Chairy Orchard” is just one place that exhibits the quirky art of this town. Snuggled between two homes on the northside of Avondale Park, The Chairy Orchard is a relatively new attraction to the Denton scene.

If you visit The Chairy Orchard, and it is recommended, look around and take notice of the assortment of chairs. You can find more than 150 chairs, big and small. Some are creepy, like the rusty old wheelchair straight from a horror movie, and others are just interesting like the vintage salon chairs.

It all started with two neighbors, Judy Smith and Anne Pearson, who noticed the empty lot when both of their families moved to Denton nearly 45 years ago.

“Our kids were close, and they used the vacant lot as their playground,” Judy said.

Back in the day, the area around the lot was wooded along with a natural creek. Now, it is equipped with concrete banks and a full community park. Their kids loved the area, however, they grew up and moved on. And, the lot stayed.

Judy and Anne watched the community around them grow. One day, Anne woke up and said, “Let’s create something here.”

After sharing her idea with Judy, the two set out to create the most unusual, original and bonkers attraction in Denton.

In the mid-2000s, Judy initially had the idea to nail several chairs to the old tree that was by the creek. Thus, began the infamous “Chairy” Tree.

After some years with just the tree, they began building the Orchard two years ago. Now, both have spent the past couple of years ravaging garage sales, and other means to acquire castaway chairs no one wants.

Many people around Denton know Judy, even the ones that don’t. She drives a pink, polka-dotted car advertising her business, Rose Costumes, which is located on the North side of town off I-35 and Loop 288. She also has a recognizable attire, usually wearing apparel from her costume shop.

While Judy is more outgoing and eccentric, Anne is the definition of independent. The extension of the Orchard from the Chairy Tree was Anne’s idea, and Judy will admit that.

If you are a photographer, or just looking for a quick adventure, check The Chairy Orchard out. The Orchard is free to visit at any time, just don’t take any of the chairs.

Photo by Tanner Tovar
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados