The Big Show 2017
July 7 - August 12, 2017


Application Deadline: June 11, 2017 (Midnight - Central Standard Time)
Exhibition On View: July 7 - August 12, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, July 7, 2017, 6:30 - 9 PM, Awards announced at 8 PM
Entry Fee: Free

Click here to apply.

The Big Show is an annual juried exhibition showcasing new work in all media by artists living within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale Art Center.

The 2017 iteration of The Big Show will be juried by Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection.

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.

Awards totaling $3,000 will be announced at the opening reception on July 7, 2017.

-The Big Show is open to artists living within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale Art Center.
-Each artist may submit up to one (1) original artworks completed within the last one (1) year.
-Work must fit through the 6' 9" x 4' 11" entryway and cannot exceed 200 pounds in weight.
-Works previously exhibited in Houston or created in art classes will be disqualified.
-All works must be exhibition ready and include proper hanging hardware. Works that are not stable enough to endure the exhibition may be disqualified.
-All works must be available for the duration of the exhibition.

Application Requirements
-All works must be submitted online via
-Applications will be accepted through June 11, 2017 (Midnight - Central Standard Time).
-There is no submission fee.
-Artists may submit up to one (1) work. Submit only one (1) representative image, along with the image captions (title, medium and dimensions). Images should be .jpeg format (minimum size of 4" x 6" at 300 dpi). Do not submit detail images.
-Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Accepted Works
-Artists will be notified by June 16, 2017 of their application status.
-Accepted works must be delivered to Lawndale Wednesday, June 28 (8 AM - 6 PM) and Thursday, June 29, 2017 (8 AM - 8 PM).

We strongly encourage you to apply early. If you are having trouble using the online application system, please don't hesitate to call us at 713-528-5858 during office hours (Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 5 PM) or email with questions.

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.

The Big Show is an ambitious exhibition of new work by artists practicing within a 100-mile radius of Lawndale. The show is appropriately and affectionately named – hundreds of artists submit up to three works for review by an esteemed curator who is invited by Lawndale to serve as juror.

This year, we were thrilled to welcome not one but two established curators to jury The Big Show: Apsara DiQuinzio and Tina Kukielski (bios below). And with change in the Lawndale air, we made the bold decision to waive the standard submission fee in order to encourage every eligible artist to throw his and her hat in the ring. In response to this gesture, 517 artists submitted their work online for consideration -- the largest group to seek participation in the history of the exhibition.

We look forward to seeing you at The Big Show, and encourage you to bring your family and friends!

View The Big Show checklist here.

Click here for a list of past Big Show award winners and jurors.


Installation Views

Installation photos by Adam Clay



Video by Ronald L. Jones


The Big Show Catalog

Designed by Daniel Cardoza and Brian Murcia




Apsara DiQuinzio
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator

Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator Apsara DiQuinzio joined BAMPFA in the fall of 2012, and since then has organized over a dozen exhibitions, including Color Shift; Ballet of Heads: The Figure in the Collection, and MATRIX exhibitions with Nicole Eisenman, Paz Errázuriz, Anna Maria Maiolino, Geta Brătescu, John Zurier, Eric Baudelaire, Tarek Atoui, and many others. Before coming to BAMPFA, she was assistant curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA, where she organized solo exhibitions with Trisha Donnelly, Vincent Fecteau, R.H. Quaytman, and Paul Sietsema, as well as the major group exhibitions Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art and The Air We Breathe: Artists and Poets Reflect on Marriage Equality. Prior to SFMOMA, DiQuinzio worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she co-organized the 2004 Whitney Biennial, among numerous other exhibitions. She has contributed to journals such as ArtforumMousseCura, and The Exhibitionist, in addition to writing for many exhibition catalogs.

Tina Kukielski
Executive Director

Tina Kukielski is executive director of Art21, a nonprofit art organization specializing in digital media about contemporary art, and a curator and writer based in New York City. She has previously held curatorial positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Carnegie Museum of Art, and has independently curated art projects around the world. She was a co-curator of the acclaimed 2013 Carnegie International and was recently included in a list of “25 Women Curators Shaking Things Up” by She is curating the first museum exhibition of artist Susan Te Kahurangi King for the ICA Miami.

Jurors' Statement

With a record number of submissions to this year’s The Big Show, we were able to see a wide swathe of contributions by Houston-based artists. Having once co-curated an exhibition together when we worked in New York over twelve years ago, it was a pleasure to collaborate again on this exhibition. After reviewing submissions online, we invited eighty-seven notable artists (a recent record of participants) to contribute a grand total of 105 works in all media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and video. Over the course of becoming acquainted with the work, a few themes emerged that guided our installation design. The first gallery beckons visitors with a range of works that address portraiture and the human figure in a panoply of styles and forms, ranging from meticulous, verisimilar renderings, to loose, expressive compositions. The spacious O’Quinn Gallery opens with a salon hang of enlivened painting in a number of distinct registers. A significant number of black-and-white works are grouped together along one long wall finding singularity among a strong graphic impulse. Along the opposite and adjacent walls colorful abstractions predominate, in scales both small and large, expressing a wide range of bold, creative palettes. In certain sections, one notices the inflections of cubism and surrealism, which are freshly interpreted to unique ends. The Horton Gallery highlights a group of evocative photographs, videos, and sculptures that situate visitors within a hybrid terrain that is both real and imagined.

The jurors thank Stephanie Mitchell, Executive Director, and Lawndale’s Programming Committee for inviting us to jury The Big Show this year. It has become evident to us that Lawndale provides an essential platform for many artists within the extended community. We are honored to have taken part in this historical exhibition, and grateful to have had the opportunity to become familiar with so many talented artists living and working in the greater Houston area.


For the 2016 edition of The Big Show, guest jurors Apsara DiQuinzio, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator of the BAMPFA, and Tina Kukielski, Executive Director of ART21, reviewed 1,389 works by 517 artists from which they selected 105 works by 87 artists for the exhibition. Artists selected for the exhibition include:

Fariba Abedin, Isela Aguirre, Ann Albritton, Ariana Andrei, Daniela Antelo in collaboration with Clay Zapalac, Alphonse Argieard, Chris Bakay, Steven Baptiste, Amaechina Blot, Maria Bordelon-Nelson, Tania Botelho, Celan Bouillet, Allen Bourne, Susan Budge, Carolina Buitrago, Erick Calderon, Carlos Canul, Jorge Canul, Tracy Carlson, Mary H. Case, Lindy Chambers, Michelle Chen-Dubose, Peter Chok, Lim Chung, Dominic Clay, Angela Corson, Shannon Crider, Jessica Crowl, Marky Dewhirst, William Dixon, Adrienne Duncan, Roslyn M. Dupre', Noah Edmundson, Kwanzaa Edwards, Karen Eisele, Tatiana Escallon, Diane Fraser, Gao Hang, Yvonne Gerych, Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola, David P. Gray, Wanda Harding, Nina Hays, Marcos Hdez, Jimmy Hines, Rhonda Holleman, Hedwige Jacobs, Christy Karll, James Kerley, Hogan Kimbrell, Iva Kinnaird, Koerie, Joan Laughlin, Maureen Lax, Beth LeBlanc, Patti Lennon, Marie Leterme, Denise Liebl, Lulu Lin, Wyatt Little, D.W. Longtin, Max Manning, Colleen Maynard, Kelly O’Brien, Aranxa Ortega, John Oualline, Quentin Pace, Annette Palmer, Page Piland, Chasity Porter, Alejandro Rosas, Penelope Ross, Robert Ruello, Ann Randolph Sandberg, Rajab Sayed, A. M. Schaer, Mireille Schellhorn, Wade Schmitz, Cassie Skelly, Megan Spacek, Stacy Anne Tracy, Rosa Valdovinos, Justin Varner, Katya Vassilyeva, Elise Weber, William Witte and Adrienne Wong

The Big Slide Show

Wednesday, August 10 & 17, 2016
6 PM

Join Lawndale and Houston's talented Big Show artists for short, informal presentations about their work.  Presentations start at 6 PM each night at Lawndale Art Center. Come early as seating is limited.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Alphonse Argieard
Chris Bakay
Amaechina Blot
Maria Bordelon-Nelson
Allen Bourne
Susan Budge
Erick Calderon
Tracy Carlson
William Dixon
Karen Eisele
Gao Hang
Jimmy Hines
Iva Kinnaird
Denise Liebl
Kelly O'Brien
Penelope Ross
Ann Sandberg
Justin Varner

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Isela Aguirre
Daniela Antelo and Clay Zapalac
Steven Baptiste
Susan Budge
Lim Chung
Angela Corson
Shannon Crider
Adrienne Duncan
Tatiana Escallon
Diane Fraser
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola
Wanda Harding
Marcos Hdez
Christy Karll
Patti Lennon
Lulu Lin
Rajab Sayed
A. M. Schaer
Katya Vassilyeva


Many thanks to our Big Show 2016 Sponsors!

Names as of August 3, 2016

Kerry F. Inman and Denby Auble
Art Museum of South Texas
Art Supply on Main
Cedric N. Akue
James M Bell, Jr.
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Jereann Chaney
John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation
Xandra Eden
Volker Eisele
Far Fetched LLC DBA Brown
Karen Lantz and Andrew Farkas
Felvis Foundation
Bill and Ann Fitzgibbons
Tim Kollatschny and Stephen Goldberg
Rob Greenstein
Brad and Linda Harmes
G.G. Hsieh and Mark Hausknecht
George and Mary Howe Hawkins
Jim Hines
Houston Endowment
Cindee and Curtis Klement
Daniela Koontz
Joan Laughlin

Victoria and Marshal Lightman
Lester and Penelope Marks
Michelle Matthews
Jeryn and Walter Mayer
Gundi McCandless
Kathrine McGovern/John P. McGovern Foundation
Meghan Miller
Brian and Jayne Piana
H. Russell Pitman
Lynn Randolph
Bryan Scrivner
Sarah Stauder
Richard Stout
Amy Tanner
Texas Commission on the Arts
Charles Thomas
Roy V. Thomas
Sydney Viehman
Christine and Ramon West
Eleanor Williams
Clint Willour
Dave Wilson
The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Deep Eddy Vodka
Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
United Airlines


Be a Big Show Sponsor

Your generosity provides funding for Lawndale's many free programs and directly supports artists all year. Your financial support also helps to cover Big Show expenses such as the production and printing of the catalogue, the juror's honorarium and cash awards for the artists.

To find out more about making a donation contact us at 713.528.5858 or email

Donate now via Paypal!




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!



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Wednesday: 12–6 PM
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