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.
In 1979, Lawndale began as a warehouse gallery space founded by artists enrolled in the University of Houston Department of Art. For a decade, these individuals programmed dynamic exhibitions, performances, and discussions featuring hundreds of local artists with a wide range of perspectives. As described by late community member Michael Galbreth of The Art Guys, “It was not planned, but was allowed,” reflecting the freedom of activity core to Lawndale’s early years.
Then, in the early 1990s, Lawndale broke its ties from academia, secured its own non-profit status, and moved into its current and permanent building in the Houston Museum District, just south of the bustling Downtown. Through exhibitions, the Artist Studio Program, public programs, and The Big Show (an annual area-wide juried exhibition), Lawndale has continued to serve as a cultural hub and platform for artists at critical junctures in their careers, including Nam June Paik, Luis Jimenez, Otabenga Jones Collective (Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans, and Robert Pruitt), and Lauren Kelley, among others.