The Art League Houston (ALH) established its Texas Artist of the Year award in 1983 and, to date, thirty-one artists have been honored. This year, Houston painter Terrell James will receive the award. Walter Hopps, the legendary curator and founding director of The Menil Collection, viewed James as being among the finest gestural abstractionists working in Texas and as one of the best in the country. Hopps stated, “She has mastered a lyrical freedom usually seen in watercolor rather than in oil.”
In 1989, ALH expanded the award to include patrons and, in 2013, it established the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts for artists whose career has spanned more than forty years. The 2016 Texas Patron of the Year is Poppi Georges Massey and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jesse Lott.
For the past forty years, Lott’s work has been grounded in an approach to art that he calls “Urban Frontier Art,” which involves the recycling of discarded urban material into art. In addition to his visionary artwork, Lott’s shaman-like presence in the art community of Houston has also had a wide-ranging impact, influencing many Texas artists.
The three awardees will be celebrated at the annual ALH gala on Friday, October 14. Congratulations to all!