Lawndale Announces 2022/2023 Artist Studio Program Participants

by Jessica Fuentes June 12, 2022

Lawndale, a nonprofit exhibition space in Houston, has selected Chelsea Clarke, Verónica Gaona, and Alexis Pye as its 2022/2023 Artist Studio Program (ASP) participants. The nine-month program provides each artist with 24-hour access to a private studio, a monthly stipend of $750, and up to $2,000 for project development and materials.

The program, which was established over fifteen years ago, saw a record number of applicants this year with more than 150 submissions. This year’s participants were chosen by a panel, which included Bria Lauren (2017/2018 Artist Studio Program participant), Sterling Allen (Lawndale Advisory Board Member), and Anna Walker (Executive Director, Lawndale). 

Learn more about the 2022/2023 ASP artists below, via descriptions provided by Lawndale.

A detail of Chelsea Clarke's Self-Soothe featuring a small sculpture of a girl seated on a pink cart.

Chelsea Clarke, “Cake Girl (detail from Self-Soothe),” 2021, ceramic, 5 x 4 x 3 inches. Image courtesy of Jessica Page.

Chelsea Clarke

Chelsea Clarke is a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where she investigated the intersections of various media such as print, fibers, ceramics, and drawing. Her conceptual practice mirrors this multidisciplinary approach as it focuses on discrete yet intertwining identities and their effect on her daily life. She attended an undergraduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University where she also finished a post-Baccalaureate degree in Nonprofit Management, which she plans to use in order to found a radically-accessible artist residency. As a Houston native, she is thrilled to return to her hometown and become a part of Texas’ vibrant artistic community.

A photograph by Verónica Gaona of two people in a white SUV at nighttime.

Verónica Gaona, “For those who do not return in life, there is always death (Homage to David Gomez),” 2021, photo performance print on matte paper, 16 x 20 inches. Image courtesy of Verónica Gaona and Junior Fernandez.

Verónica Gaona

Verónica Gaona is an interdisciplinary artist from Brownsville, Texas, a city along the Texas-México border, living and working in Houston. As a first-generation Mexican American from a family of working-class migrants who relocated to search for employment, Gaona considers the voices of displaced and exploited communities by materializing characteristics of diaspora such as transnationality, opacity, and impermanence to redress traditional approaches to memorialization. 

Her artwork exists at the intersection of digital media, performance, sculpture, and installation, and it brings to the foreground labor and spatial issues at play. Gaona received a MFA in Studio Art from the University of Houston and a BA in Mass Communications from The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. In 2021, she was the recipient of the prestigious national Artadia Award. In 2022, Gaona participated as a panelist in “Monumentality in Art: Memory, History, and Impermanence in Diaspora” at the CAA Conference in Chicago. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston and will participate in Engaging Latinx Art: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

A square shaped painting by Alexis Pye featuring a Black male figure painted in a realistic style and an additional figure drawn more abstractly. The background includes green leaves and pink flowers.

Alexis Pye, “Flower Boy,” 2021, oil, oil pastel, oil stick, and acrylic yarn on canvas, 30 × 30 × 1 1⁄2 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Alexis Pye

Alexis Pye explores the tradition of painting as a way to express the Black body outside of its social constructs, to evoke playfulness, wonder, and blackness, as well as the joys amidst adversity. She graduated from the University of Houston’s BFA program in 2019. Pye was selected as a Summer Studios Resident in 2018 and for Round 51: Local Impact II at Project Row Houses in 2019. Her work was exhibited in a group show of young artists, “Everything’s Gonna be Alright,” curated by Robert Hodge and hosted at the David Shelton Gallery in 2019. 

Pye was selected by Kanitra Fletcher to receive the Juror’s Choice Prize for the 20th Annual Citywide African American Artists Exhibition held at Texas Southern University in 2019. She was included in the group show “Animal Crossing” at Inman Gallery in 2020, and presented her first solo show, “The Real and the Fantastic/The Irrational Joys of the Axis,” at Inman Gallery in July 2021. In 2021, her work was included in the group exhibitions “My Mirror Is Fine” curated by Miles Payne at the Community Artists Collective, Houston i and “Honor Thy Self” at Martha’s Contemporary in Austin. Her work was also in the MFAH staff art show at the Museum Fine Arts, Houston in 2021 and she has collaborated with the Houston Rockets x CAMH at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2022.

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