Lawndale Art Center is a non-profit space for the exhibition of contemporary works of art in all media, based in Houston, Texas, USA, focused on exhibiting work by Houston area artists.
Lawndale Art Center was founded in 1979 by artist James Surls in an abandoned 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) warehouse as part of the University of Houston, providing studio spaces for graduate students in painting and sculpture. Surls, then Professor of Art, created an exhibition area within Lawndale's 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of space; the exhibitions there soon expanded to include shows by other artists of the community.
Lawndale Art Center became independent with non-profit status in 1989, and since 1992 has been located in a 1930s Art Deco building designed by Joseph Finger within Houston’s Museum District. The galleries exhibit close to 500 artists annually in changing exhibitions.
Over twenty exhibitions, informal talks and special events are offered yearly including annual events such as Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, Design Fair, and The Big Show.
Lawndale is governed by a board of directors representing the community. At least one-third are artists. Exhibitions, special events and benefits are carried out with the assistance of volunteers, interns and in-kind contributors.