For 30 years running, The Big Show at Lawndale has been treating Houston to an exceptional collection of local works in an effort to entice art lovers and put the spotlight on undiscovered artists. This year's efforts continue the tradition of offering beautiful artwork from a variety of mediums.
The show, which opened on Friday night, features 115 different works from 106 different artists. The selection was juried this year by Erin Elder, the visual art director of Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. Elder had her work cut out for her. A total of 981 works were submitted by 382 different artists. They don't call it "The Big Show" for nothing. The exhibition is certainly large and widely varied. I was hard-pressed to find any two artists whose work overlapped in style, which I appreciated.
If there were any common themes, it may have been the idea of the "selfie," which showed up in several pieces. It's odd to think about the "self-portrait" taking on a more technological viewpoint, since it is as old as art itself. It's difficult to even express the difference between the traditional self-portrait and the "selfie," save linguistics. The selfie just feels more egotistical in some respects. Whether this was intended by the artists of The Big Show or not, it felt that way.