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Kinfolk House co-founder receives 2022 Texas Artist of the Year award

Written by Mindia Whittier

Honorees are selected by a distinguished committee of artists and arts professionals.

Letitia Huckaby, co-founder of Kinfolk House, was honored as 2022 Texas Artist of the Year at Art League Houston‘s 74th annual LUMINARIES gala on Oct. 14.

Kinfolk House is a collaborative project space that inhabits a 100-year-old historic home where community and art converge. It is located in the predominantly Black and Latina/e/o neighborhood of Polytechnic in Fort Worth. The goal of Kinfolk House is to uplift the beauty, talent, and culture in Polytechnic and feed its creativity by offering collaborative exhibitions, events, and educational opportunities of various disciplines. Through partnerships with community-minded creatives and project-based artists, Kinfolk House seeks to build outside the preconceived ideas of “what art is,” exploring the intersections of life, cultural pursuits, and artistry.

Nearly 400 guests gathered at the event to honor Huckaby. Earlie Hudnall, Jr. was also recognized as the recipient of the biennial 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts. Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Jr. were honored as the 2022 Texas Patrons of the Year.

Co-chaired by Joi Maria & Matt Probus and Seba Raquel Suber, the gala raised over $250,000 in support of ALH’s mission to connect the community through diverse, dynamic, and creative experiences that bring people together to see, make and talk about contemporary art.

ALH serves as a creative hub for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, foster creativity, imagination, and empathy, and impact social change through the arts. For more than three decades, the organization has honored the brightest lights in the arts in Texas.

Selection committee members for the 2022 Texas Artist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts included North Texans Vicki Meek of Dallas, and Celia Álvarez Muñoz of Arlington, among others. Members of the selection committee recognized Huckaby’s understanding that art has the power to evoke change in communities, and her commitment to be a change agent. The artist was noted for her important contributions to contemporary art, maintaining an active studio practice, exhibiting her art nationwide, and being an engaged mom.

“ALH has a long history of supporting artists and artistic practices in our state” said Jennie Ash, Art League Houston Director. “For almost 40 years, our annual Arts Awards have recognized the creative visionaries who inspire us, engage us, and create transformational change in our communities. We are excited to have the opportunity to honor extraordinary Texas artists, Letitia Huckaby and Earlie Hudnall, Jr. along with long time art supporters Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Jr. This year’s honorees are aligned in their commitment to community and exemplify the impact that artists, arts, and cultural organizations, and those that support them are making to the future of Texas.”

The LUMINARIES gala was hosted by Houston’s Poet Laureate, Outspoken Bean. Guests enjoyed a spirited art auction with works by local, national, and internationally recognized artists, a digital art experience by Input/Output, and music by DJ Flash Gordon Parks.

Funds raised from the event honoring Huckaby allow the organization to offer groundbreaking exhibitions and public art, artist talks, studio classes, free public events, arts education initiatives, and targeted outreach to the under-supported communities.

“Each year, it’s truly a special opportunity to pay tribute to some of our state’s talented individuals and organizationswho enrich our communities and encourage deeper connection,” said Audra White, ALH Board President. “We applaud these recipients and all those whose work in the arts to help make Texas a vibrant place to live and visit.”

ALH will present solo exhibitions celebrating the work of Letitia Huckaby and Earlie Hudnall, Jr. from September 16 to December 3, 2022. Huckaby’s exhibition is titled “Bitter Waters Sweet.” The organization will also collaborate with each artist to publish a limited-edition artist catalog.

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About the author

Mindia Whittier