The Stanford Arts Review: Rick Lowe: Sculpting the Social Sphere

Full Article by Katie Nesser


“This is not a televised interview,” Rick Lowe reassured me as I stumbled over my words. The artist, who is serving as the Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor to Stanford this quarter, has been working on art in the social context for over 20 years, most famously with his Project Row Houses, which has brought creative, community focused transformation to the long neglected Houston Third Ward. He’s a MacArthur Genius and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Obama.

But for all his prestige, and for all my nerves, speaking with Rick Lowe is easy. He’s a natural conversationalist whose passion for his work comes through without overpowering his careful thoughtfulness. His communication has certainly helped him in his community based artwork, which puts him in contact with everyone from politicians and bureaucrats to corporate donors to single mothers seeking housing.