Lawndale is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center that engages Houston communities with exhibitions and programs that explore the aesthetic, critical, and social issues of our time.
Lawndale believes in the role of art and artists to inspire and inform the world around us. By serving as an intimate gathering place to experience art and ideas, Lawndale seeks to foster connections between communities in Houston and beyond. Lawndale presents a diverse range of artistic practices and perspectives through exhibitions and programs, including lectures, symposia, film screenings, readings, and musical performances.
Through exhibition opportunities, the Artist Studio Program, institutional collaborations, and the engagement of an advisory board comprised of artists, curators, and scholars, Lawndale seeks within its mission to support all artistic and cultural communities of Houston.
Lawndale began as a gallery space for graduate students in the University of Houston Department of Art. The programming grew to include work by hundreds of local artists and timely exhibitions from elsewhere. Extraordinary activity filled the warehouse as artists organized exhibitions, performances, and discussions encompassing a wide range of perspectives.
In the early 1990s, Lawndale secured its own non-profit status and moved from Houston’s East End to Main Street and purchased the building it now occupies.
Through its exhibition program and The Big Show, an annual area-wide survey show, Lawndale has introduced a number of artists to the wider public, among them Mark Lombardi, Luis Jimenez, Sue Coe, The Art Guys, Nam June Paik and Rev. Johnnie Swearingen. 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.