Lawndale Art Center's Design Fair recently underwent an evolution from a strictly 20th century modern market to a fair that focuses on the best of mid-century modern and contemporary design.
Curator Garrett Hunter tells CultureMap that the advisory committee for this year's fair have been working since two weeks after last year's ended — and that hard work will show, with a selected list of exhibitors, an unforgettable preview party and a free lecture.
The latter takes place on Wednesday at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Brown Auditorium. Evan Lobel, designer and founder of Lobel Modern NYC, will speak on the importance of furniture designers Karl Springer, Philip and Kelvin Laverne and Ward Bennett.
For the fair itself, Lawndale will be transformed from a gallery into a space showcasing vintage and contemporary design.
"We've talked about mid-century modern for a while now," said Hunter, who owns an interior design practice and has worked with Lobel for years. "This will focus on the decorative, decadent modernism of the '70s and '80s."
For the fair itself, Lawndale will be transformed from a gallery into a space showcasing vintage and contemporary design. Downstairs will focus largely on furniture and housewares, says Hunter. Upstairs galleries will be filled with smaller items at approachable price points.
A Texas Co-Op, curated by Hunter, will bring in designers from all over the state: Garza Furniture, based in Marfa, designs "contemporary pieces based on a Texas vernacular." Others featured in this year's Co-Op include Houston artists George Sacaris and Barbara Hill (Pulpoetry), and selections from Sloan/Hall and Justin Parr.
Lawndale has also partnered with sophomores in the University of Houston's Industrial Design Program for a special exhibition on objects for the home and classroom, entitled Simple, Beautiful & Usable.
A Preview Party & Sale on Friday gets guests first dibs on the goods — plus complimentary Saint Arnold brews and Roxor Artisan Gin, catering by Culinaire, music by Glasnost and photos by Smilebooth — for $75 per person ($60 for Lawndale members). Fair Days will be held on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a $5 general admission charge.