Lawndale Announces 2023/2024 Artist Studio Program Participants

by Jessica Fuentes June 9, 2023

Earlier this week, Lawndale, a Houston-based nonprofit exhibition space, named Tay Butler, Sol Diaz, and Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud as its 2023/2024 Artist Studio Program (ASP) participants. 

The nine-month program provides artists with 24-hour access to a private studio, a monthly honorarium of $750, and up to $2,000 for project development and materials. Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Lawndale a $20,000 grant in support of this artist-in-residence program. 

This year, the program received over 140 applications. The selection committee was comprised of the following panelists: Regina Agu, 2017/2018 Artist Studio Program participant; Jamal Cyrus, Lawndale Advisory Board Member; Melissa Noble, Director of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts/Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Initiatives; Jeremy Johnson, Lawndale’s Operations & Exhibitions Manager; and Anna Walker, Lawndale’s Executive Director.

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

Tay Butler is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based in Houston, TX. He received his BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and completed his Photography MFA at the University of Arkansas. After retiring from the U.S. Army and abandoning a middle-class engineering career to search for purpose, Mr. Butler reignited a rich appreciation for Black history and a deep obsession with the Black archive. Through collage, photography, drawing, video, sound, performance and large-scale installation, Mr. Butler utilizes past histories and imagery to create new understandings of the present while imagining a brighter future.

Sol Diaz is a Houston-based visual artist who graduated from the University of Houston – Downtown in 2021. They have exhibited their work at notable venues throughout the city, including Box 13 ArtSpace, HCC’s Wedgespace, Houston City Hall with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Project Row Houses, and Sawyer Yards. They are the recipient of the Summer Studios Residency with Project Row Houses, The Idea Fund Grant with DiverseWorks, and are featured in a collaborative publication by Mujeres Malas and Fifth Wheel Press. In their work, Mx. Diaz explores personal narratives, history, and the poetic relationship between nature and man. Guided by this inspiration, and working from their own relationship to colonization as a first-generation queer person, Mr. Diaz crafts an animist vision of growth in marginal spaces. Their work stands on its own as a quiet, spiritual, and radical act.

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud views her creative practice and environmental advocacy as forms of stewardship. She creates art about the environment in relation to the African diaspora and examines broader themes around memory, geography, spatial studies, and materiality. Ms. Mccloud has rooted her practice in the Americas, participating in exhibitions and residencies in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. Working at the intersection of advocacy, narrative change, and creativity, Ms. Mccloud develops frameworks for new ways of imagining and advocating for water, nature, and people in greater Houston through the lens of climate resilience and environmental justice. In her leadership at Bayou City Waterkeeper, Ms. Mccloud advances a collaborative vision for water justice in greater Houston through wetland protection, urban water management, flood mitigation, and water quality. Ms. Mccloud is a fourth-generation artist and native Houstonian and is inspired by the people, culture, ecology, and the seemingly banality of Houston and the Gulf Coast.

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