Founded in the 1990s to serve as a bridge between artists and the greater Houston community, Lawndale Art Center is one of Houston’s premier art institutions.
In early September, the institution announced its newly appointed Executive Director, Anna Walker. Most recently Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the gifted curator and scholar is set to begin her tenure on November 1.
“We believe that Anna’s passion for and commitment to artists, alongside her decade-long engagement with the Houston community, makes her the right leader to shepherd Lawndale into its next vibrant chapter,” Lawndale said in a press release announcing Walker’s appointment.
The appointment comes after a nine-month search led by Lawndale’s Executive and Search Committees. “As a space founded by artists and one that continues to serve artists through residencies, exhibitions, and programs, I look forward to continuing Lawndale’s deep engagement with artists in our region,” Walker says in a statement.
Walker is no stranger to the arts as the Ohio native earned her B.A. from Otterbein University with a focus on ceramics and printmaking, along with an M.A. in arts administration from Indiana University.
“[In college] I worked in the studio alongside my friends and I found myself drawn to helping fellow artists write their resumes, draft statements and put together exhibits at local venues,” she tells Houstonia. “It always felt natural to be in an artist's studio and be their advocate, friend [and] confidant.”
The experience of advocating for artists lead Walker to realize that she wanted to translate her love into a career. Prior to Lawndale, she worked as the curator of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC), where she had oversight on up to a dozen exhibitions a year. From there, she joined the MFAH where, in addition to her work as Assistant Curator of the Decorative Arts department, she was also the Windgate Foundation Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Craft.
Walker has big plans for Lawndale, as the space continues its forty-year commitment to exciting exhibitions, lectures, screenings and performances. “I hope to emphasize the humanity at the core of art and culture and the opportunities that can flourish when you trust artists in your community, listen to them, and provide them the resources and tools to succeed.”
For more information on Walker and Lawndale’s exhibition program, visit here.