Making sense out of well-nigh a thousand art pieces is a task for the brave and strong, intellectually speaking. It's for that reason that the bigwigs at Lawndale Art Center are methodical in selecting one guest to curate what grew from the "East End Show," once hosted by the East End Progress Association, into "The Big Show."
Although juror Duncan MacKenzie, co-founder of the contemporary art blog Bad at Sports, had already returned home to Chicago when Thursday's invitation-only reception at Lawndale arrived, his thought process was clearly embossed in the spacious arrangement of his chosen 83 works by 67 artists. The contemporary art museum's VIP guests moseyed from wall to wall to add their own two cents while enjoying a tête-à-tête with the artists.
Perking up the mood were lounge-esque tunes spun by DJ Night Drive alongside a selection of Saint Arnold Brewing Company suds, an interactive make-your-own Italian 75 potation with Bombay Sapphire and Zonin Prosecco served with cutesy curly straws, and light appetizers courtesy of Whole Foods Market.
While the private soiree welcomed field luminaries that included the mayor's assistant for cultural affairs Minnette Boesel and hubby Peter, Victoria as well as Marshal Lightman and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft executive director Julie Farr, Lawndale's official big opening is set for 7 p.m. Friday during which MacKenzie's top picks will be announced, an honor that carries cash prizes.
Mixing and mingling with executive director Christine West and exhibitions and programming director Dennis Nance were Claudia Solis, Jonathan Beitler, Matthew Wettergreen, Michel Muylle, Theresa Escobedo, Whitney Radley and Bradley Kerl, Lynette Henry, Bob Lordi, Aaron Laine, Rod Frazier, Victoria Ludwin and John Wilson.