Lawndale’s Executive Director Stephanie Mitchell to Step Down

by Christopher Blay January 27, 2021
Lawndale Director Stephanie Mitchell

Stephanie Mitchell. Photo: Emily Peacock

Yesterday Houston’s Lawndale Art Center announced that its Executive Director, Stephanie Mitchell, will step down from the directorship this summer, with plans to return to the Northeast with her family.

Mitchell stepped into the ED post in 2015. While serving, Mitchell has overseen a doubling of Lawndale’s audience, and (via Lawndale) “…leveraged the expertise of Lawndale’s Advisory Board to establish long-term collaborations with Nameless Sound, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literary and Fine Arts, The Unsung Masters Series and Artadia as well as launch several new artistic and community initiatives, including the SPEAKEASY music and performance series, The Sankofa Project and the Lawndale Lending Library.”

Some artists who’ve exhibited with Lawndale over the past five years, both established and emerging, include Olaniyi Akindiya (Akirash), Regina Agu, Antonius Tin Bui, Ryan Hawk, Saúl Hernández-Vargas, Tierney Malone, Lynn Randolph, Gerardo Rosales, Marcelyn McNeil and Virginia Lee Montgomery.

Mitchell released a statement regarding her pending departure:

“It has been a privilege and honor to lead Lawndale. I would like to thank all of the Board and Advisory Board members, patrons and volunteers that have supported both me and Lawndale during my tenure. In particular, I would like to give a special thanks to Lawndale’s exhibited and Artist Studio Program artists and the amazing Lawndale staff for serving as the driving force of Lawndale’s achievements over the past years. I am incredibly proud to have steered the organization through a period of artistic and financial growth and am confident that Lawndale is well-positioned to continue serving artists and the wider Houston community in meaningful and impactful ways. Despite moving back to the Northeast with my family, I hope to remain involved with Lawndale as it continues to grow and do great things.”

States Meghan Miller, Lawndale’s Board Chair: “The Board of Directors extends a heartfelt thanks to Stephanie for her accomplishments on behalf of Lawndale. Stephanie arrived in 2015 determined to see Lawndale realize several goals, including implementing a new strategic and artistic direction, improving the quality of Lawndale’s exhibitions, Artist Studio Program and facilities, revamping the Board of Directors and strengthening Lawndale’s financial position. Having met these goals, she is planning to return to the Northeast with her family. We will miss Stephanie’s expertise, experience and leadership and wish her the very best as she moves on to new challenges.”

Mitchell will continue to work until the summer, overseeing Lawndale’s fall exhibitions as well as the 2021-22 Artist Studio Programs.

Meanwhile, Lawndale’s search for a new Executive Director has begun. For more information, please go here.

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