Visual Arts

Lawndale Art Center Issues An Open Call for The Big Show

If you're a visual artist with $30 ($25 if you're a member), live within 100 miles of Houston and want a shot at one of three class prizes - or even better: discovery of your greatness - then that time of year has arrived again.

The Lawndale Art Center's biggest show of the year, appropriately named The Big Show, won't happen until July 1, but now is the time to start assembling your materials for drop-off starting June 15.

Last year drew huge crowds and it was the same story the year before.

The Big Show is not without its share of critics, and as our own art critic Kelly Klaasmeyer has written before, some years are better than others.

But when it's on, it offers something few shows do, as Klassmeyer wrote in 2007:

"The Big Show" is a rare thing, an exhibition juried from actual work rather than slides or digital images. For most juried exhibitions, artists send slides or digital images to the sponsoring organization, which then ships everything to a juror. Just like people, art can look better or worse in a photograph than it does in person. (I see you Internet daters nodding vigorously in agreement.) Because "The Big Show" is restricted to artists within a hundred miles of Houston, jurying from actual works is feasible.

The juror this year is Larissa Harris, curator of the Queens Museum of Art. To download an application form go to

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