About the Public Art Program

Established in 1994, the Public Art Program (PAP) provides opportunities for artists to take risks and experiment in their practice while exploring new ways of working outside of the studio. Through learning the complex history of the neighborhood, connecting with Third Ward residents, and understanding the changes that come with working within this context, artists create site-specific installations that live inside the art houses or the public spaces of the neighborhood. 

Artist Rounds

Artist Rounds are a biannual event, with openings in March and October.  Each session lasts approximately four months. During this time period, seven row houses are opened to visiting artists to display their works. Either individual artists or art collectives are welcome to apply. The artist(s) are given two weeks before and one week after to install and deinstall their work. Row houses are open to the public Wednesday – Sunday from noon to 5pm.

Project proposals should be submitted to rounds@projectrowhouses.org and include a written proposal of no more than 1000 words, an artist/curatorial statement describing the scope of your practice/project, a resume or cv, and 10-12 high-res images of artwork. Submissions are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Artist Residencies

Summer Studios

The Summer Studios Program was developed to provide an opportunity for emerging artists to create and exhibit work that responds to, engages and/or is reflective of community. This program is open to seven local college/university art students, nominated by their professors and selected by a panel of professional artists. This Program is open to students who are interested in making art in an urban community setting, engaging with the PRH/ Third Ward Community and interacting with established Houston-based artists.

2:2:2 Exchange

The 2:2:2 Exchange is a new initiative that features an an interchange between two artists, one based in Houston, TX and one in Chicago, IL.  This collaboration exposes artists already working with socially engaged, site-specific practices to new communities with the goal of expanding their artistic practice in a new context. Through this residency exchange, Project Row Houses and Hyde Park Art Center aim to provide an opportunity for artists to research localized ways of thinking and creating in a different city to enhance their practices at home.

Visual Arts Network Residency 

Project Row Houses has been a partner of the Visual Artists Network (VAN) since 2010. VAN is a national network of visual artists, curators and exhibitors providing opportunities and subsidy support for under-recognized visual artists, nurtures the creation of experimental artwork and supports the touring of contemporary visual artists and their work. Patterned after NPN’s model performing arts program, VAN was launched in 2007 as a pilot, and in 2009 the program was formally established through the induction of the VAN Partners, fifteen leading contemporary arts organizations from across the United States.

Black Lunch Table at Dorchester Projects’s Black Artist Retreat, 2014 Photo courtesy the artists

Black Lunch Table at Dorchester Projects’s Black Artist Retreat, 2014 Photo courtesy the artists

Through this partnership, PRH will present the Black Lunch Table, a project that aims to reconstruct the documented history of the arts in the African diaspora by hosting edit-a-thons to revise Wikipedia articles. Past artist residencies include Shani Peters, Kenyatta AC Hinkle, Ashley Hunt, Autumn Knight and Chelsea Knight.

The Visual Artists Network is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. The VAN Partners also make a significant contribution to the program through their matching dollars and annual dues.


OJBKFM in Brooklyn. Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller, courtesy of Creative Time

OJBKFM in Brooklyn. Photo by Shulamit Seidler-Feller, courtesy of Creative Time

Project/Site is a new, commission-based temporary public art program at Project Row Houses conceived by Public Art Director Ryan N. Dennis. Project/ Site interrogates the landscape of Third Ward by working with artists who explore the history and culture of the neighborhood while expanding their practices beyond the studio, into the streets.

Project/Site’s inaugural project commissioned Houston-based artists Otabenga Jones & Associates to realize OJBKFM Radio, a temporary outdoor community radio station broadcasting from the back of a 1959 pink Cadillac Coupe de Ville. The mobile station sought to defibrillate the Dowling Street Corridor. Once the booming and beating heart of Third Ward, Dowling Street was the concourse of successful businesses and social clubs, Black Nationalists and pan-Africanists, churches and community centers. 

Performing the Neighborhood

Project Row Houses and the University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts have launched a five-year partnership to commission major performance-based works by contemporary artists to be presented in and around the PRH site in the Third Ward. Artists will draw upon the neighborhood as well as the often complicated intersection between campus and community. Artists are selected jointly at a rate of one artist per year beginning in 2016 and will present their projects during the Counter Current Festival. Upcoming artists include Jason Moran, Kevin Beasley, Okwui Okpowasili and many more! 

Artist Studios

PRH's studio spaces are currently full.

Project Row Houses offers affordable studio space in Delia's Lounge, a building on the PRH site, to artists within the community as a means for them to engage the community as they work and through their work.  PRH's current studio artists are Rabéa Ballin and Robert Leroy Hodge.