Lawndale has announced the artists whose work will be included in the Big Show this year. The selected artists are:
Matt Adams, John Adelman, Homer Allen, Kassandra Bergman, Ellen Anne Burtner, Celia Butler, Paul Carola, Caleb Churchill, Norberto Clemente, Jessica Crute, George Elbel, Henri Gadbois, Tony Garbarini, Matthew Glover, Tommy Gregory, Hillaree Hamblin, Bethany Hargrove, Andrea Hellerman, Hogan Kimbrell, Daniela Koontz, Tamara D. Kontrimas, Galina Kurlat, Hayley J. Kyle, Diane La Franca, Alexander Larsen, Joan Laughlin, Marios Liolios, Wyatt John Little, Julie Lundgren & Wyatt John Little, Liza Littlefield, Christie Malvin, Lupe Martinez, Chad Maydwell, David McClain, Larry McEntire, Eddie Mendez, Tracey Meyer, Pen Morrison, L A Naut, Angel Oloshove, Mari Omori, Lucia Peña, Donna E. Perkins, Edward Ramsay-Morin, Tara Rene Ratliff, Cary Reeder, Patrick Renner, John Sapp, Kay Sarver, Caroline Sharpless, Shunshieva, Rosalind Speed, Kamila Szczesna, J. E. Theriot, Stephanie Toppin, Kimberly Turman, Tanja Vaughn, Allison Whitley, Martin Wnuk, Katie Wynne and Paul S. Zeigler
As usual, there are some artists whose work is very well-known to me (John Adelman, David McClain, Cary Reeder, Patrick Renner, Stephanie Toppin, etc.), some who have familiar names, and a lot that I have never heard of. That kind of disturbs me a little. I mean, I feel like I have my finger on the pulse of the Houston art scene--there shouldn't be so many artists who are totally unfamiliar to me. Do they lay low during the year, surfacing only to enter work in the Big Show?
The work, based on superficial glances at the artists websites, looks interesting and unexpected. I suspect there will be a lot of three-dimensional work and craft. While there will be tons of painting as usual, I think it will dominate less thoroughly than in previous years.
Reading over this list, a few names pop out at me.
sugar piece by Celia Butler
Celia Butler is not really a "Houston artist," but she is a resident at the HCCC so she counts. Her work with sugar on her website slightly freaks me out so I am really looking forward to seeing what she has in the Big Show.
George Elbel, The Beginning, mixed media
George Elbel says it best on his Facebook page: "My name is George Kenneth Elbel III. I'm 18 and just graduated from
Alvin High School. During High School I took 3 years of Art enjoying the
Arts to the fullest. At the end of my school, year I made a commitment
to stay determined to get somewhere in Art." Can you imagine a better beginning for a young artist than to be chosen for a major juried exhibit?
Henri Gadbois, 2007, Clouds II, 20" x 27"
Henri Gadbois is on the other end of the scale from Elbel. Born in 1930, he was a major figure in Houston's art scene in the 1950s. I think it's fantastic that an 82-year-old artist is in the Big Show. I'm very eager to see his work.
piece by Tony Garbarini
Tony Garbarini is one of those people I've never heard of. But his website is fantastic, so I really want to see what he has.
Matthew Glover, Morgan Standing
I loved Matthew Glover's knitted nudes at Gallery 1724, so I am interested to see what he has at Lawndale.
(The pieces above are not in the Big Show as far as I know. They are just examples of each artist's work.)