Lawndale’s Big Show Takes a Break in 2019

by Brandon Zech May 24, 2019
The Big show at Lawndale art center in Houston

Installation view of the 2017 Big Show

The Lawndale Art Center in Houston has announced that its next Big Show exhibition will take not take place until the summer of 2020.

Typically scheduled for the summer months, in past years Lawndale’s Big Show has been an annual group exhibition that showcases emerging Houston talent. The exhibition is open to artists living and working within a 100-mile radius of the city, and is designed to present a true cross-section of works by the region’s artists.

In order to select an unbiased selection of artworks, Lawndale typically brings in a guest juror from outside of Texas — past years have featured Evelyn C. Hankins from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; George Scheer from Elsewhere; and Larissa Harris from the Queens Museum of Art, among many others.

The 2017 Big Show was markedly different in two ways: it was juried by a local curator, Toby Kamps, and it also featured some established Houston-area artists, who were invited by Mr. Kamps to apply. As Michael Bise wrote about that show:

“Kamps specifically reached out to a number of well-known Houston artists and encouraged them to view the Big Show not as a venue reserved for emergent unknowns, but as a kind of snapshot of the Houston art scene now — a cutaway revealing the complex strata of people and practices that make up the world of art in the rapidly growing city of Houston and its surrounding areas.”

Last year’s Big Show was held in the fall instead of summer, and also marked the beginning of the Lawndale Lending Library, an art lending program featuring works from the exhibition.

In an email newsletter this week, Lawndale said that the Big Show will return again in the summer of 2020. As for this summer, the organization is hosting its 2018/19 Artist Studio Program Exhibition, featuring works by Robert Hodge, Julia Barbosa Landois, and John Pluecker, along with other shows of works by Preetika Rajgariah, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, and Michael Bhichitkul.

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