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Lawndale is one of the only institutions in Houston that is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art with an emphasis on work by regional artists. Lawndale includes four museum-quality galleries, three artist studios and an outdoor sculpture garden that facilitate its role as a vital cultural resource for Houston. Every year Lawndale Art Center hosts an area-wide open call juried survey show, called The Big Show, which provides exhibition access to area artists. Lawndale Art Center's most recent programming initiative was to launch the Artist Studio Program that provides studio space for three local artists along with a materials budget and a monthly stipend for a nine month period.
In addition, Lawndale also provides educational opportunities to area elementary, middle and high school-age children and to local college and university students through its teacher orientation program, internship program and guided tours and activities. Lawndale Art Center was founded in 1979 by artist James Surls, an instructor at the University of Houston, in a 100,000 square-foot warehouse, and provided studio spaces for MFA students. In 1992 Lawndale rented a three-story 1930 Art Deco building at its current location in Houston's Museum District.
During construction in 2004, staff moved out of the building, but was able to continue programming: producing an artist-designed billboard series and presenting annual exhibitions in other area art spaces. Texas Non Profits - Lawndale Art Center Newsletter: Dia de los Muertos Gala & Retablo Silent Auction this Thursday! Lawndale members receive a $15 discount on admission to the Día de los Muertos Gala & Silent Auction! Lawndale Art Center is pleased to present its 25th Annual Día de los Muertos events, a celebration of the art, music and folklife of Mexico. Preview the exhibition Monday, October 22 - Wednesday, October 24 during normal gallery hours. Lawndale encourages teachers to educate their students about important aspects of Mexican culture and their related art practices and offers schools the opportunity to display their work in our Cavnar and Horton galleries. Starting October 22, guests are encouraged to bring a personal item of remembrance to add to our community altar honoring departed loved ones. In conjunction with our 25th Annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering a sugar skull making workshop. Lawndale's 25th annual Día de los Muertos celebration continues with a Saturday fiesta for families and children honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries. We are in need of volunteer help for all aspects of the upcoming Día de los Muertos festivities, and we hope you'll be able to lend us your support during one or multiple volunteer shifts this Fall. Funds raised in support of Lawndale's 25th Annual Día de los Muertos help underwrite the cost of presenting programs that celebrate cultural traditions of Mexico.
Programs at Lawndale are supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association, The Texas Commission on the Arts, Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., The John R. For a limited time, For The Philanthropist is running a summer special on organizational assessments for $2,995.00*. For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Lawndale, Philadelphia. Sign up for the Nautica newsletter to be the first to learn about new arrivals, Charity: water, Sales and more. Access quality-of life-plans, NCP publications, photographs, and other documents and media that chronicle how Chicago neighborhoods are working to become better and stronger.


Located at the edge of Downtown in the Museum District the organization utilizes its accessible location to present exhibitions, performances, lectures, film screenings and events, and offers an annual residency program to further the creative exchange of ideas among Houston's diverse communities. A board Programming Committee made up of area artists and arts professionals meet twice per year to consider proposals and select artists and exhibitions for presentation. A balance is sought among emerging, mid-career and established artists, as well as a wide range of two and three dimensional media and content.
Approximately 400 artists who live and work within a 100-mile radius of Houston, bring over 950 works of art to the Lawndale galleries for jurying over three days. During this time Lawndale also works closely with area schools, focusing on at risk and low income schools, to educate students about the Mexican tradition using contemporary art as a context and features artworks from the students during the retablo exhibition.
Surls created an exhibition area within the warehouse and programming soon expanded to explore experimental, alternative works and performances by other artists in the community and beyond. Its layout and location were well-suited to Lawndale's vision for program and audience expansion. The board structure was modified but continued the artist-run Programming Committee, charged with the curatorial duties of the organization and dedicated to presenting experimental art works from area artists.
The building required major repairs and renovations in order to have adequate exhibition and office space and to realize the goal of beginning an artist residency program. Renovations were completed in 2005 and Lawndale moved back into a first-rate, fully ADA compliant facility. Lawndale Art Center became the premiere center for artists in Houston and the region to show work, experiment, perform and meet other artists. The auction of retablos, created and donated by over 250 Texas artists, feature contemporary interpretations of this traditional, devotional art.
It is now one of Lawndale's most popular programs that reaches out to communities across the region. In past years, students have submitted projects such as sugar skulls, papel picado, papier mache skeletons, retablos, altars and other large-scale installations. During Día de los Muertos, families create ofrendas to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as cutting papel picado and decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera, Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Paedarchy Puppets. These events foster pride and appreciation in one's own heritage and encourage tolerance and understanding.
The committee gives special consideration to work that would not be shown in commercial or other museum venues due to its scale, ephemeral nature, or difficulty of installation.
A nationally known curator from outside of the region selects The Big Show from these entries presenting an annual snap shot of contemporary art in Houston. This program provides a critical bridge to Houston's Latino community and helps build awareness within the Mexican-American community for our other programming.
By 1989 the university was no longer able to support the space and the organization was suddenly homeless. In 2006 Lawndale launched the Artist Studio Program offering financial support and space for three artists annually. Early projects included works by Luis Jimenez, Sue Coe, The Art Guys, Nam June Paik and Rev.


This program supports area artists and students by offering them an opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum quality setting.
Guests will also enjoy Día de los Muertos exhibitions in the Cavnar and Horton galleries which feature the works of Houston school children.
Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on 8" x 10" pieces of sheet metal. A River Oaks Chamber Orchestra chamber group and Musiqa composers will present short original contemporary, classic compositions as musical ofrendas. Contributions also fund Lawndale's free programs throughout the year and allow us to continue serving as one of Houston's leading contemporary arts spaces.
The schedule is intentionally flexible to allow for work to be shown within six months of its completion; accordingly, nothing is scheduled more than one year in advance. A small team of hard-working individuals, committed to keeping the entity alive, formed a board of directors, obtained non-profit status and borrowed spaces in which the newly independent Lawndale could continue to program. Over the years additional programming has been developed to educate audiences and encourage dialogue in celebration of Mexican-American heritage in our region. Inprint will also present original readings written in the tradition of making an offering during the Día de los Muertos celebrations.
Join us for the Family Day Fiesta on November 3 to decorate one of the skulls made at the workshop.
For optimal experience, please use one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10. The committee also considers works from around the region that inform area artists and audiences about the most current themes and concepts in contemporary art, while remaining focused on Houston area artists. Performance art and music were an important part of the early years, including varied performances from Allen Ginsberg and Spaulding Gray to Black Flag and the Meat Puppets. Día de los Muertos programs and exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center promote cultural awareness of Mexican folk art practices associated with this celebration of family, life and community. Many well-known Houston and nationally known artists participate; the exhibition attracts a large audience and the gala is one of the most fun parties in Houston! Schirrmeister III, Scott Sparvero, Gabriela Trzebinski, United Airlines, Kinzelman Art Consulting, Party With Cris, Poggenpohl Design Studio and other contributors, memberships, benefit events and many volunteers. His reviews and interviews have appeared on Cura, ArtPulse, Flash Art, Whitehot Magazine, BMM, Drome, Contemporary, AroundPhotography and NYArts Magazine. Use your web-enabled mobile phone to scan the QR code on the label of the piece of art that moves you most and register your vote.
Support also helps to cover Big Show expenses such as the production of the catalog and cash awards for the artists.



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