“Social Practice.Social Justice” Symposium Schedule

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Friday, January 24, 2014

6pm In Conversation

The opening-night event will feature three African American artists, each of whom has unique perspectives on the topic of art and social/community engagement. The conversation will highlight the different approaches to art and community engagement that each artist has developed. They will talk about their views on art and community, why they have chosen to explore work in a community context, and what they hope the outcome of their work will bring.

  • Mark Bradford, artist/cofounder, Art and Practice
  • Theaster Gates, artist/founder, Dorchester Projects
  • Rick Lowe, artist/founder, Project Row Houses
  • Moderated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Saturday, January 25, 2014

9am Welcome

  • Linda Shearer, Executive Director, Project Row Houses

9:30–11am Session 1: Architecture and the Third Ward Community

This session brings together several Houston architects and an urban planner for a conversation about architecture in the Third Ward. Topics of consideration will be the nature of change and gentrification in the Third Ward, the importance of urban planning and its relationship to architecture, and the responsibilities of architects and planners when working with communities.

  • Jeffrey Lowe, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University
  • Patrick Peters (LEED AP), Professor and Director, Graduate Design/Build Studios, University of Houston
  • Nicola Springer (AIA, LEED AP), Vice President, Kirksey Architecture
  • Moderated by Nonya Grenader (FAIA), Professor in Practice and Associate Director, Rice Building Workshop and Danny Samuels (FAIA), Smith Visiting Professor and Director, Rice Building Workshop

11:15am–12:30pm Keynote Address: “Decorating the Way to Other Worlds: Project Row Houses at Twenty”

For more than two decades, Project Row Houses has mobilized artists in the Third Ward to open up worthy paths to other worlds, where the emphasis is on the creative act not just the created object, where making the right path trumps merely taking the right path, where community is not simply found, but forged. Like many other place-based art initiatives, Project Row Houses compels us to link up with both our ancestors and our descendants in decorating the world with work that is a vital part of what Martin Luther King Jr. described as “the long and bitter—but beautiful—struggle for a new world.”

  • George Lipsitz, Professor, Department of Black Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

1:30–3pm Session 2: Inside Social Practice Art

Social practice art has become a broad category that blurs the lines of object making, performance, political activism, and community organizing. Yet its expansive, often vague, nature has also made it difficult to qualify. This panel will get underneath the name “social practice” to examine both the impetus for and future trajectory of the genre.

  • Jamal Cyrus and Robert Pruitt, Otabenga Jones & Associates
  • Assata Richards, Program Manager, Young Mothers Residential Program, Project Row Houses
  • Risë Wilson, Founder, The Laundromat Project, Inc.
  • Moderated by Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art

Social Practice.Social Justice is organized in conjunction with Project Row Houses’ 20th Anniversary celebration, a 15-month-long commemoration of PRH’s role as a catalyst for change in the community.

Ticket info: As of Thursday, January 23rd, tickets can ONLY be purchased at the door.

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“Third Ward TX”

Watch the 2007 PBS documentary about Project Row Houses and its neighborhood, “Third Ward TX.”