The Big Show 2017
July 7 - August 12, 2017

Opening Reception
Friday, July 7, 2017, 7- 9 PM
Awards announced at 8 PM

The Big Show is an ambitious annual exhibition of new work by artists practicing within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale. This year, Lawndale was excited to welcome Toby Kamps, former Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection and soon-to-be Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum, as juror. Kamps reviewed work by 549 artists – the most artists to submit their work in the history of The Big Show - and selected nearly 200 works for the exhibition.

Organizing Theme
It is a truism that life moves fast and that change is a constant. In the 21 st century, rates of change in our ecological, economic, and political lives are accelerating and increasing at breakneck speed. Even consciousness itself is under constant pressure as new technologies transfer images, messages, and memes from the screen to the mind at the speed of light.

Introducing the "Rate of Change" as its organizing principle, The Big Show 2017 seeks works of art addressing change - in its myriad forms - and made within the last change-filled year.

The Big Slide Show
Join The Big Show artists for short, informal presentations about their work. Presentations begin in Lawndale’s O’Quinn gallery at 6 PM each night. Seating is limited.

Thursday, July 20 / July 27 / August 3, 2017
6 PM

Toby Kamps
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Menil Collection

Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection, Houston, has organized solo exhibitions of work by artists including Vanessa Beecroft, Ellsworth Kelly, Danny Lyon, Claes Oldenburg, Haim Steinbach, Luc Tuymans, H.C. Westermann, Wols (Wolfgang Schulze), William N. Copley, and Torolab, a Tijuana design collective.

He has organized numerous group exhibition and catalogue projects such as Silence, Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art, Space Is the Place, and, with a team, Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art. His exhibitions The Old, Weird America and From Baja to Bar Harbor, won best traveling exhibition nationally and best regional university gallery project awards from the U.S. and New England sections of the International Association of Art Critics, respectively.

In previous curatorial positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, the ICA at Maine College of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, he has served on leadership teams and committees, managed membership groups, and developed programs and partnerships with other organizations. A graduate of the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, he has written for exhibition catalogues, monographs, and magazines. Currently, Kamps serves as advisor to the Spotlight section of the Frieze and Frieze Masters art fairs in New York and London, respectively. Spotlight features one-person exhibitions of work by twentieth-century artists from around the world.

Coming soon!

Many Thanks to our Big Show 2017 Supporters!
(Names as of June 23,2017)

Major support for Lawndale Art Center programming is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., the City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association, the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation, Houston Endowment, the John P. McGovern Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Additional support for The Big Show is generously provided by Rob Greenstein, George and Mary Howe Hawkins, G.G. Hsieh, Cindee and Curtis Klement, Lester and Penelope Marks, Bill and Michelle Matthews, H. Russell Pitman, Bryan Scrivner, Richard Stout, Amy M. Tanner, and Dave Wilson.

The Big Show Opening Reception is sponsored by
    Topo Chico

Volunteers are needed for every aspect of The Big Show, including helping with artist drop-off, preparing the galleries, installing artwork in the exhibition and serving refreshments at the opening reception. To receive information on volunteer opportunities at Lawndale, sign up here!



4912 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77002

T  713.528.5858
F  713.528.4140

Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 12–6 PM
Thursday: 12–8 PM
Friday: 12–6 PM

Lawndale will be closed July 3, 4

Free Exhibition Admission

Contact Us


Support Lawndale Today!


Recent News

“Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying”

Harold Mendez selected for 2017 Whitney Biennial

Lawndale Art Center’s Performance Revival - SPEAKEASY


Coming Up

The Big Show
July 7 - Aug 12 2017
Click here for details.


Member of Greater Houston CVB


Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art.

    Join our mailing list!