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Lawndale Art Center's 27th Annual Día de los Muertos Retablo Update
Lawndale Art Center Houston

August, 2014

4912 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002 | 713.528.5858

Lawndale Art Center's 27th Annual Día de los Muertos 
October 20 - November 8, 2014  
In This Issue
Retablo Update
Schedule of Events
Visit our Flickr page for images of past Día de los Muertos events at Lawndale!
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Sponsor this year's Día de los Muertos events!
 Funds raised in support of Lawndale's 27th Annual Día de los Muertos help underwrite the cost of presenting programs that celebrate cultural traditions of Mexico. These events foster pride and appreciation in one's own heritage and encourage tolerance and understanding. Contributions also fund Lawndale's free programs throughout the year and allow us to continue serving as one of Houston's leading contemporary arts spaces. 

To find out more about making a donation to this year's Día de los Muertos contact us at 713.528.5858 or by email at


Donate now via PayPal!  

Become a Member! 

Lawndale members receive a $15 discount on admission to the Día de los Muertos Gala & Silent Auction! Membership levels start as low as $25 per year.
Houston Museum District 
Dear Lawndale friends,
As you know, Lawndale's Día de los Muertos Gala and Retablo Silent Auction is one of our most popular and well attended events, so much so that we have begun to become concerned about the enjoyment and safety of our patrons and donating artists. In lieu of moving the exhibition and event off-site, we have determined a few small changes may allow for a more enjoyable evening for our guests and successful fundraiser for Lawndale.


The retablo exhibition is a springboard for many emerging artists. Artists experience being a part of the open-call, non-juried show and then often enter The Big Show or propose an idea for an exhibition at Lawndale. Many may not realize that the underwriting and auction sales on this one night are one of Lawndale's largest fundraisers. These funds help to keep Lawndale's exhibitions and programs free for audiences throughout the year. In the last few years the amount raised has declined and we have heard from our supporters it is because the party is too crowded, it is no longer fun and they can't get to the artworks in order to place bids.
While we have implemented improvements like being able to preview the works in the gallery and online and the ability to pre-bid on works, these changes have not decreased the number of people attending the party. What a problem to have, right?


This year we are asking artists to donate their completed retablo at 100%. In exchange for donating a retablo, each artist will get one admission to the Gala and Auction and an Artist Level annual Membership to Lawndale. Donating artists may also purchase additional tickets at the member rate of $40 per ticket.


We hope everyone understands this adjustment and will continue to celebrate Día de los Muertos with us in our 27th year.






Christine Jelson West

Executive Director

Lawndale Art Center






Please pick up your tin during normal business hours 
(while supplies last):
Monday - Friday, 10:30 AM - 5 PM
Saturday, 12 - 5 PM





Completed retablos must be delivered by 5 PM on Thursday, October 9, 2014. Please deliver your retablos to Lawndale October 7-9, 2014, 10 AM - 5 PM. 


There is no entry fee. Entry rules and forms are available at Lawndale or click here to download the entry form.


Everyone starts with the same material and observes the following restrictions:  


  • Each work must incorporate the metal issued by Lawndale (other materials may be added).
  • Maximum finished size: 11" x 13" x 5" deep. Please take note of this!
  • Work must hang from the wall. Lawndale can provide "L" nails to hang finished works. All other necessary hardware needed to install must be included.
  • Frames are discouraged, and not required for works using only the surface of the provided metal.
  • All work must be for sale.
Lawndale will not display work which does not meet all stated conditions or lacks sufficient structural integrity for exhibition and sale.
Please note the following important changes!
  • Entry is limited to one per artist or collective.
  • All retablos this year must be donated at 100%. In exchange for this kind donation, Lawndale will provide each artist with 1 admission to the Gala & Retablo Silent Auction and a Membership at the Artist Level. Artists will be able to purchase additional admissions at the member price of $40.
  • Silent auction bidding starts at your minimum starting bid. We suggest setting the bid starting price within the range of $50-$150. $150 is the maximum starting bid.


Schedule of Events 

October 20 - November 8, 2014  



Retablo & Student Exhibitions

October 20 - November 8, 2014

In 1988, Lawndale Art Center presented its first annual Día de los Muertos exhibition of retablos: small art works inspired by the traditional Latin American devotional art form of the same name. Lawndale invites artists and the public to create contemporary interpretations of retablos on 8" x 10" pieces of sheet metal. The donated retablos are on view throughout Lawndale's Día de los Muertos programs and are auctioned at the Gala and Retablo Silent Auction. Proceeds from this popular fundraising event support Lawndale's free programming throughout the year.


Lawndale encourages teachers to educate their students about important aspects of Mexican culture and their related art practices and offers schools the opportunity to display their work in our Cavnar and Horton galleries.  In past years, students have submitted projects such as sugar skulls, papel picado, papier-mâché skeletons, retablos, altars and other large-scale installations. 

Community Ofrenda

October 20 - November 8, 2014


Starting October 20, guests are encouraged to bring a personal item of remembrance to add to our community altar honoring departed loved ones.



Papel Picado Workshop
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

6 PM


Houston art educator and Lawndale supporter Jean King, will lead a papel picado workshop as part of this year's Día de los Muertos celebration. The workshop is free and open to the public.  Visitors will not only learn about the traditional art of Mexican paper cutting from one of the best, but will also get to create and take home their own unique perforated paper creation.   



Gala and Retablo Silent Auction
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Artist, Member and Sponsor preview 6 - 7 PM 
Gala and Silent Auction 7 - 9 PM

Silent Auction closes at 8:45 PM

Event Chairs: Lane and Bob Schultz

Admission: $65 per person/ $40 for Lawndale Members


Tickets available at the door or in advance via PayPal or by calling 713-528-5858. Please call for Lawndale Member rate.


One of Lawndale's most popular parties and biggest fundraisers, this silent auction of small art works, created and donated by over 250 Texas artists, feature contemporary interpretations of retablos, a traditional, devotional art in Mexico. Guests will also enjoy exhibitions in the Cavnar and Horton galleries featuring works made by Houston school children, many in the folkart traditions still practiced in Mexico today.
Preview the exhibition Monday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 22 during normal gallery hours.

Musical & Literary Ofrenda

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Performances begin at 6:15 PM


Join us for an evening of celebration and remembrance. During Día de los Muertos, families create ofrendas to remember and honor the memory of their ancestors. A ROCO chamber group and Musiqa composers will present short original contemporary, classic compositions as musical ofrendas. Inprint will also present original readings written in the tradition of making an offering during the Día de los Muertos celebrations. This event is a partnership between ROCO,  Inprint,  Musiqa and Lawndale Art Center.


Family Day Fiesta

Saturday, November 1, 2014
12 - 4 PM

Admission: Free

Lawndale's 27th annual Día de los Muertoscelebration continues with a Saturday fiesta for families and children honoring participating teachers and students whose works of art can be viewed in the Cavnar and Horton galleries. Enjoy refreshments and children's activities such as cutting papel picado and decorating sugar skulls, along with performances by Houston Grand Opera,  Mixteco Ballet Folklorico and Secret Admirer Puppets. 



Adult Sugar Skull Class

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
6 PM
$25 per person
Advance registration is required as space is limited.





In conjunction with our 27th annual 

Día de los Muertos celebration, Lawndale Art Center is offering an Adult Sugar Skull Class led by artist Amber Eagle. Participants will learn how sugar skulls are made and will decorate skulls with royal icing. All participants will take home their skull created in class, as well as a recipe and a sugar skull mold.


Amber Eagle is a former Lawndale Artist Studio Program participant, sculptor of sugar things in miniature and metal things made of semi-trucks. Eagle received her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts (1993) and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1988). Eagle was a Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art from 1993-1995. After completing her core fellowship in Houston she moved to Mexico for many years after having received a grant to study the art of Alfenique and Fiestas there.



Programs at Lawndale are supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association, The Texas Commission on the Arts, Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, Inc., The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation, The John P. McGovern Foundation, The Joan Hohlt and Roger Wich Foundation, Felvis Foundation/David R. Graham, Mid-America Arts Alliance, John M. O'Quinn, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Cecily E. Horton, Ann W. Harithas, Diana M. Hudson and Lee Kaplan, Julia and Luke Burke, Monica Rios and Colin Fulton, Bruce Eames, Samantha Schnee and Michael Hafner, Henke Law Firm LLP, Jenny and Mark Johnson, Gretchen and Andrew McFarland, Paula Murphy, Lia and David Rodi, Nicole and Joey Romano, Scott R. Sparvero, Mary Martha and Joel Staff, TeleFlex, United Airlines, Kinzelman Art Consulting, Number 4 High Performance Hair Care, Page, Poggenpohl Design Studio, and other contributors, memberships, benefit events and many volunteers.


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