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The jury's in: Big art show reveals bold new winners, including a stunned 15-year-old

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Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Perry Chandler
Perry Chandler, Scene 74 - Fear through the Eyes of Madness, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48". Courtesy of Lawndale Art Center
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Avril Falgout
Avril Falgout, Black Veil Brides, 2013, paper maché and mixed media, 6'3'' x 4'2'' x 8'7''. Courtesy of Lawndale Art Center
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Bryan Forrester
Bryan Forrester, Imogene, 2012, C-Print, 24'' x 36''. Courtesy of Courtesy of Lawndale Art Center
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Bradley Kerl
Bradley Kerl, Fish Tank, 2013, oil on panel. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Sarah Hamilton
Sarah Hamilton, Waiting, 2013, water soluble oils and wax medium on wood panel. Photo by Tyler Rudick
lawndale big show 2013 Kari Breitigam
Kari Breitigam, Horn Head, 2012, stretched embroidery. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Jennifer Ellison
Jennifer Ellison, Antique Figurine & the Machine that Made It, 2013, mixed media assemblage. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Eduardo Portillo
Eduardo Portillo, Untitled, 2013, hypoallergenic polyester and fabric. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Sarahlene Tapley
Saralene Tapley, Flourish, 2013, acrylic on watercolor paper. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Andy Dearwater
Andy Dearwater, Giftwrap, 2013, oil on panel. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Leo Medrano
Lee Medrano, The End of the Road and Strange Fields, 2013, architectural scale model pieces, ballast, acrylic and glass. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Avril Falgout
Detail, Avril Falgout, Black Veil Brides, 2013. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Perry Chandler
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Avril Falgout
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Bryan Forrester
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Bradley Kerl
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Sarah Hamilton
lawndale big show 2013 Kari Breitigam
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Jennifer Ellison
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Eduardo Portillo
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Sarahlene Tapley
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Andy Dearwater
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Leo Medrano
Lawndale Art Center Big Show 2013 Avril Falgout

The Lawndale Art Center revealed the winners of its annual Big Show, anointing three new visual artists in what has become a sort of Hall of Fame for regional talent.

Perry Chandler, Avril Falgout and Bryan Forrester — a painter, sculptor and photographer/video artist, respectively — officially join the ranks of past champs like Texas Prize recipient Eileen Maxson and Whitney Biennial participant Robert Pruitt, who kicks off a solo exhibit at New York's Studio Museum Harlem this month.

Selected by guest juror Duncan Mackenzie, co-founder of Chicago's Bad at Sports art blog and podcast, the trio of inductees were culled from a group of 366 artists who collectively submitted nearly 1,000 works to the 2013 competition.

"I've been making images non-stop for the past decade — first as more of a commercial filmmaker and, in recent years, as an artist," Forrester told CultureMap after Friday night's announcement at the Big Show opening. His Imogene photo-print earned him one of the three $1,000 cash prizes.

"Getting recognition like this is exciting and feels hugely validating,"  Forrester says.

"Getting recognition like this is exciting and feels hugely validating."

Beaumont-area native Avril Falgout has only recently found herself in the art world . . . mainly because she's still in high school. Her life-sized papier-mâché homage to the Hollywood glam-punk band Black Veil Brides holds court at the center of the Lawndale's main gallery.

"I'm only 15, so I've just gotten into doing this. The Brides are actually the first large piece I've done," she laughed, still somewhat stunned from the award.

Chandler's painting Scene 74 - Fear through the Eyes of Madness finished up the winner's circle. The captivating image features two disembodied male heads staring each other down amidst a sea of smeared paint and carefully-crafted geometric shapes.

Other entries to this year's Big Show demonstrate a rather interesting preoccupation with animals, covering everything from household pets, as in Bradley Kerl's Fish Tank and Sarah Hamilton's cat portrait Waiting, to comically surreal human hybrids like Kari Breitigam's Horn Head.

The Big Show is on view at the Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main) through Aug. 10.

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