Seen at The Big Show

Interesting evening at Lawndale Art Center. The Big Show is an annual event. I remember submitting work 25 years ago when they were out in the East End. I was not selected. Later put the piece in a FotoFest 1988 group show and made their catalogue. Such are the vagaries of art shows. One never knows the outcome and must simply follow his/her heart or the dollar, whichever seems more important. All this is an aside. The evening was really about pictures, so here they are.
The first paintings in the door were David Gray's. Two of the Friday morning breakfast at 59 Diner. Wouldn't have recognized Earl, but Richard Stout, Harvey Bott, Jack Boynton and Ibsen Espada are right on. Wonderful painterly paintings, though David didn't take a prize.
Lots of people paintings throughout. Wouldn't necessarily call them portraiture, but canvases were filled with faces and figures. A very large canvas walked away with one of the three prizes given this evening. That would be Emily Grenader's oil on canvas of 'Friends and Family.'
GONZO247 had a piece in the show. 'Introducing Mr. Pickle' was funny and had some energy. GONZO247 has had a very good year.
Here's a mural on canvas he painted for the new Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Avenue. The facility is open to the public now so you can see GONZO247's work in the lobbies of level 2 and 3. Plus a lot more. Dick Wray, Dean Ruck and Dan Havel, Kaneem Smith, Serena Lin Bush, more and more.
Tonight, I began to focus a lot on the folks who were there because the place was jammed and it was the easiest thing to do. Saw Robert Boyd from a distance. It will be interesting to read his take on The Big Show on his blog The Great God Pan is Dead. In the mean time, click on his link and read about various other visual and performing arts news and views.
Here are David Gray and Earl. Looking good, looking like the regulars they are for Friday breakfast at the 59 Diner.
Ran into Minnette Boesel, Assistant for Cultural Affairs for Mayor Parker.
Saw Mari Omori. She and I were met in the first Creative Capital workshop that Diverse Works sponsored and hosted. Tonight we guessed that was about six years ago. I just looked it up. It was nine years ago. How time flies.
Saw Vic and Bobbi Samuels, Lynn Randolph and Michael Berryhill.
One of Earl's painting students, Gayla Brown, came to see The Big Show and was pleasantly surprised to see Michael Berryhill, whom she worked for long ago.
Pam Johnson was Earl's student way back in the St. Thomas University days (1970s). She remembered those days fondly.
Hard to see the artwork without a real effort, but I did notice two paper cut outs by Katherine Winkler that were beautifully done. Looks like a Harley.
In the end, it was simply easier to watch the people at Lawndale.
On our way out, we met Catherine Anspon, Paper City.
And near the parking lot, Martha and Grace drove by in Martha's sleek black Subaru. How come my Subaru doesn't look as cool as hers? I chose the wrong color, for sure.
So, that was the evening. What more can I say? That the show was a grab bag and it's hard to say how a curator, any curator, could bring any coherence to an exhibition, given over 900 different works by how many artists? There was nothing terribly edgy. Maybe I'm too old and don't understand/appreciate the subtleties of the new?
But I have to hand it to David Gray. He got Richard Stout and Harvey Bott. There they are.