2018 Artist Studio Program Exhibition: In Real Life Featuring Regina Agu, Shannon Crider, and the htx people project

Curated by Lauren Ross

May 25, 2018 – July 29, 2018 John M. O'Quinn Gallery

This annual exhibition showcases the work of Lawndale’s Artist Studio Program participants. The Artist Studio Program is a nine-month program that supports three artists annually with an honorarium, project grant, studio space, and curatorial support.


Artists and Curator Bios

Regina Agu is an artist and writer based in Houston, TX. Her recent work focuses on the complex relationships between the landscape and communities of color. Her work has been included in exhibitions, public readings, and performances nationally, including recent showings at The Drawing Center, New York; DiverseWorks, Houston; The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in DC; Project Row Houses; and The Station Museum, Houston. She is currently a CASE-PRH fellow at the University of Houston, and a 2018 Houston Arts Alliance SACI grantee. Agu is a 2017 Artadia Houston awardee, and was a recent participant in Open Sessions at The Drawing Center. Agu was the co-director of Alabama Song, a collaboratively-run art space in Third Ward, Houston, which received a SEED grant from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Agu is the founder of the Houston-based WOC Reading Group, and her other collaborative projects include Friends of Angela Davis Park and the Houston-based independent small press paratext.

Shannon Crider, a Houston-based visual artist, is a resident of the 2017-2018 Artist Studio Program at Lawndale Art Center. Through re-photographing and re-staging stills from television, Crider’s work investigates the impact of contemporary representations of women in our televisual culture. Her two- and three-dimensional works employ collage, sewing, and print to construct new spaces that reflect the psychogenic space of female subjectivity in popular culture. She has exhibited throughout the United States, including Artists Looking at Art at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, the 2013 Texas Biennial, and Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crider earned an MFA in Printmedia from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2016) and her Bachelor’s from Oklahoma City University (2008).

Bria Lauren and Morganne Nikole are a queer-people-of-color creative collective based in Houston, Texas. Since the project’s inception in 2015, the pair has released two documentary films titled NAKED (2016) and c r e a t i n g s p a c e (2017). The project has noted creative collaboration credits with Diverse Works, Project Row Houses, Folklore Films, BLMHTX, Outsmart Magazine, Forward Times Newspaper, AFROPUNK, and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

the public spectators carry a body language that quietly wishes we were less black. less woman. less queer. their shifts; often disguised by faint smiles and delayed hesitations, are meant to persuade us that our intersecting identities are not responsible for disrupting their flavors and societal norms. their thoughts; prefer we quiet our voices and learn to behave. to only adapt ‘voice’ for swallowing in place of s p e a k i n g. our authenticity; displaced among the margins, urges our inner truth to become courageous enough to be courageous enough. after all, we are not obliged to make oppression comfortable. our collective marries the soul-ship of art and activism. we nurture the heartbeat of film, photography, text, and storytelling to isolate and dissect the holistic scarring of race, gender and sexuality. through art. we create safe spaces for people to be exactly as they are. without censorship. without fear. with love.

Lauren Ross is a curator, writer, teacher, and administrator with over twenty years of experience in contemporary art. She is based in Richmond, Virginia, where she recently founded the RVA Critical Art Writing Program. Ross has served as a curator at such institutions as the Institute for Contemporary Art, Richmond, VA; Philbrook Museum of Art,Tulsa, OK; the High Line, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; and White Columns, New York, NY. As a writer, she has contributed to exhibition catalogs published by The Dallas Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as to periodicals such as ARTnews and Burnaway. Ross has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of Visual Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Whitney Museum. She holds a Master’s Degree from Hunter College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, both in the History of Art.