Art League Houston Announces Winners of Three Annual Awards

by Jessica Fuentes April 2, 2022

Art League Houston (ALH) has announced the 2022 awardees for the Texas Artist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award in Visual Arts, and Texas Patrons of the Year.

In a press release announcing the awardees, ALH Director, Jennie Ash, stated, “ALH has a long history of supporting artists and artistic practices in our state. For almost 40 years, our annual Arts Awards have recognized the creative visionaries who inspire us, engage us, and create transformational change in our communities.”

A composite image combining photographs of Earlie Hudnall Jr., Letitia Huckaby, and Melanie Lawson & John Guess Jr.

Art League Houston 2022 Awardees: Earlie Hudnall Jr., Letitia Huckaby, and Melanie Lawson & John Guess Jr.

Fort Worth-based photographer and installation artist Letitia Huckaby has been named Texas Artist of the Year. Earlie Hudnall Jr., of Houston, who has documented Black communities for over three decades, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Melanie Lawson (award-winning journalist) and John Guess Jr. (CEO of the Houston Museum of African American Culture) will receive the Texas Patrons of the Year Award. Learn more about the honorees by visiting ALH’s website.

The artist honorees were selected by a large committee of artists and art professionals from across Texas, which included: Vicki Meek (Dallas, TX); Celia Álvarez Muñoz (Arlington, TX); Rigoberto Luna (Co-Founder and Director of Presa House Gallery, San Antonio, TX), Patrick Kelly (Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions at The Old Jail Art Center, Albany, TX),  and Allison Glenn, (Independent Curator and Writer, Houston, TX and Detroit, MI). The selection committee for the 2022 Texas Patron of the Year was comprised of: Dr. Alvia J. Wardlaw (Art Historian, Director, and Curator, Texas Southern University Museum); Gaynell Floyd-Drexler (Corporate Attorney and Advocate with Decades of Non-Profit and Community Engagement, Houston TX); Frances Valdez (Executive Director/Houston in Action & Owner/FValdezLaw PC, Houston TX); and Catherine Anspon (Executive Editor/Visual Arts + Features at PaperCity Magazine, Houston TX). 

A portrait of Letitia Huckaby. The artist wears a black short sleeve shirt and has one hand on her hip while she looks straight into the camera.

Artist Letitia Huckaby (photo: Rambo). Image courtesy of the artist

A landscape photograph printed on fabric and displayed inside a large custom built embroidery hoop. Artwork by Letitia Huckaby.

Letitia Huckaby, “present participle welcoming, 2022,” pigment print on fabric, 48 x 33 ½ inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Talley Dunn Gallery

In a statement, 2021 Texas Artist of the Year and 2022 selection committee member Vicki Meek shared about this year’s awardees, “There’s a certain kind of pleasure that comes from being the first African American woman artist to be awarded the Texas Artist of the Year and one of the judges to select the second. Letitia Huckaby is a perfect fit for the title 2022 Texas Artist of the Year because she understands that art has the power to evoke change in communities and she’s committed to being that change agent in hers. She does this all while maintaining an active studio practice, exhibiting her art nationwide, and being an engaged mom.” 

A portrait of artist Earlie Hudnall Jr. The artist wears a plaid long sleeve shirt and holds a camera while he looks straight at the viewer.

Artist Earlie Hudnall, Jr. (photo: Ray Carrington) Image courtesy of the artist.

A black and white photograph by Earlie Hudnall Jr. The image depicts a small group of people standing outdoors and singing in front of a microphone.

Earlie Hudnall, Jr., “Feeling the Spirit, Third Ward, Houston, Texas,” 1987, gelatin silver print. Image courtesy of the artist and PDNB Gallery.

Selection committee member Allison Glenn remarked, “It’s been an honor to participate on this year’s jury with such incredible colleagues. Both Letitia Huckaby’s and Earlie Hudnall‘s practices reflect a deep engagement with their communities, and important contributions to contemporary art.”

A photograph of Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr. Mr. Guess sits in a chair with his legs crossed and smiles as he looks into the camera. Ms. Lawson stands behind the chair and has a wide smile as she looks directly into the camera.

Melanie Lawson & John Guess, Jr. (photo: Karen Sachar)

Selection committee member Catherine Anspon said, “Melanie and John have been pillars of the Texas art community for decades. Especially in Houston, their support for nonprofits, galleries, above all, deep friendships and mentorships of artists have been heartfelt, intelligent, guided by altruism, and profound. They are also museum creators and museum builders.”

ALH will celebrate the awardees at its annual gala which will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022 at POST Houston. Additionally, ALH will present solo exhibitions by and will produce limited-edition catalogs for Mrs. Huckaby and Mr. Hundall this fall.

1 comment

You may also like

1 comment

Ralph Cooper April 3, 2022 - 02:44

Congratulations to all!


Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: