Stephanie Schumann Mitchell, Lawndale’s Executive Director, has worked in the arts for over fifteen years. She brings to Lawndale curatorial and development experience from institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Drawing Center in New York City, as well as The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, where she received her Master’s in the History of Art from Williams College. Before relocating to Houston with her husband, Mitchell co-directed the first online art fair, VIP Art Fair, and directed the curatorial program at Leo Koenig, Inc., a contemporary art gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.
Since joining Lawndale in September 2015, Mitchell has worked extensively to evaluate and enhance the institution’s artistic programming and community engagement.
Emily Butts, Lawndale’s Assistant Director, received her BA in art history and English world literature from Pitzer College and MA from the University of Texas at Austin. From 2015 to 2017, she served as Curatorial Assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she was involved in the exhibition Home—So Different, So Appealing, organized as part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. In 2018, she was granted the Emerging Curator award from Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) for the exhibition Names Printed in Black, which featured artists who explore the concept of erasure as both a historical phenomenon and as a method of production. Her research interests include modern and contemporary American and Latin American art with a special interest in the ethics of representation and politics of erasure within feminist and queer art practices.
Community Engagement Manager
Emily Fens began her career in cultural institutions in 2012 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where she assisted educators in engaging youth 6 – 12 in the Museum’s exhibitions. Since joining Lawndale’s team in 2016, she has served as the public face of the institution. Fens holds a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA.
Lisa Gertsch, Lawndale’s Contoller, began consulting with Lawndale in 2016. She is President of Lisa Gertsch, LLC, a consulting group that has specialized in non-profits since 2011. Her work provides small to mid-sized clients the tools necessary to make informed decisions and plan effectively. Gertsch earned an Economics degree from Stanford University, and obtained a CPA while auditing for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Andrea Allen recently joined Lawndale as Gallery Attendant. A Houston native, Allen recently returned to Houston from Japan to pursue her PhD in Education at the University of Houston, with a focus on exploring how access to art and community resources can promote civic engagement and social change in urban areas. Allen received her MA in Art Education from UH before moving abroad.
Hannah Grunwald is a current MA candidate at the University of Houston studying arts leadership. She received her B.A. from Texas A&M University in communications and film studies. In addition to working as an intern for Lawndale, Hannah is a docent for Blaffer Art Museum.
Sumin Hwang is a sophomore at Rice University studying visual art and art history. Originally from San Diego, Sumin fulfilled a full-time internship with Lawndale that was underwritten by Lawndale and Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership.
Courtney Khim is a first-year MA student in the Art History program at the University of Houston. Her undergraduate experience included developing a multidisciplinary artistic practice (primarily painting and ceramics), co-curating the UH Biannual Student Art Show, and working as a curatorial fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Courtney’s current research interests center around the works of modern + contemporary decorative arts and Houston’s contemporary art scene.
Caroline Gray Sharpless is completing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the University of Houston Downtown. She holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Houston in painting and has taught art history classes at UHClear Lake.
Board of Directors
Tim Kollatschny, Chair
Meghan Miller, Vice Chair
Jessica Seff, Treasurer
Mary Catherine Jones, Secretary
Peter Gershon, Chair, Advisory Board
Stephanie Mitchell, Executive Director
David R. Graham
Calia A. Pettigrew
Robert Raney, III
Peter Gershon, Chair