Lawndale Announces 2021 “The Big Show” Artists and In-Person Opening Date

by Christopher Blay May 17, 2021

Houston non-profit art space Lawndale has announced its annual open-call The Big Show opening date and artists for the 2021 exhibition. Opening June 18, the show, juried by British-Venezuelan art historian and curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, will feature 212 works by 182 artists, selected from more than 500 submissions from artists who live within a 100-mile radius of Houston. The Big Show is generally known for employing jurors from outside the region, who choose works by emerging artists in the region.

There will be an in-person preview party for the 2021 iteration of The Big Show on Friday, June 18 from 5 – 9 PM, and the exhibition will be on view through Saturday, August 14.

Some of the exhibition’s featured artists include Isela Aguirre, Josh Alan, Erika Alonso, Carolina Amat, T.C. Anderson, Asaeda, Miguel Avila, Melissa Aytenfisu, JJ Baker, Emma Balder, Ryan Baptiste, Glasstire’s own Jennifer Battaglia, and more than 150 others. For a complete list of featured artists, please go here.


Cecilia Fajardo-Hill.

The 2021 juror, Fajardo-Hill, is based in Southern California, and holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th-Century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. Her projects include a stint as Fellowship Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) and Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University. Fajardo-Hill is the editor of Remains – Tomorrow: Themes in Contemporary Latin American Abstraction, on post-’90s abstraction in Latin America, and the co-editor of two books on 20th- and 21st-century Guatemalan art.

The Big Show returns after skipping 2019, and being postponed in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In a 2019 Glasstire report about the show, Brandon Zech wrote about how 2017’s The Big Show differed from previous years in that it was juried by (an at-the-time) local curator, the Menil’s Toby Kamps (he’s since left Houston), and featured works by some more established Houston-area artists who were invited by Mr. Kamps to apply. Zech went on to quote Michael Bise, who wrote about The Big Show in 2017:

“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.”

To learn more about The Big Show and Lawndale Art Center, please go here.

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