round39 logo (1)Viewing Hours & Round Events

October 5, 2013 – March 2, 2014
Free and open to the public
Wednesday through Sunday 12 – 5PM
2505 – 2517 Holman

Project Row Houses (PRH) is pleased to announce its opening reception for Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward and Block Party which celebrates the 20 year anniversary. The Anniversary will be launched on Saturday, October 5th with the opening of Looking Back, Moving Forward and a Block Party that will be a big Thank You to the community and organizations we have worked with over the years. Music, food trucks, vendors, children’s activities and games, artists’ talk, and great fun and celebration will all be free throughout the day.

Looking Back, Moving Forward is inspired by Andy Warhol’s 1969 exhibition Raid the Icebox I that took place at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. In the same fashion of asking Warhol to go through the museum’s permanent collection and curate an exhibit based on his findings, Ryan N. Dennis, PRH’s Public Art Director and curator of the Round asked five artists to go through the PRH Archive and use it as a springboard to create a site-specific installation based on their findings. Looking Back, Moving Forward will include the work of Houston based artists Jamal Cyrus in collaboration with Ray Carrington III, Troy Gooden, Lovie Olivia, and New York based artists Valerie Piraino and Jessica Vaughn.

The other component of the Round seeks to engage educators in a conversation based on the PRH principles and programs. An education house located at 2515 Holman will provide hands-on art based learning for students and educators through a series of workshops and an education guide. The house is being realized by Michelle Barnes and Anthony Suber. The art house located at 2517 Holman is conceptualized by Ryan N. Dennis and Gabriel Martinez who are working with graphic designer Lisa Garrett to create an interactive timeline that tracks the 20 year history of PRH and runs around the interior walls of the house – other didactic components will inform the viewing experience for visitors.

Please join us on Saturday, October 5th at 2:30 pm  to learn more about the artists and their work, and stay for the block party in celebration of our 20th year anniversary from 11am-7 pm.

Round 39 Events & Programs

  • October 5th, 2:30 – 4pm: Round 39 Artists’ Talk
  • October 5th, 11am – 7pm: Opening Reception and Block Party

View all events

Participating Artists & Projects

Lovie Olivia

2505 Holman Street

Material-lies attempts to unearth, reconstruct, modify, and preserve the residual matter that emerges after excavating (rubbing, scraping, digging) the wall surface and site of this historical row house.  Using a combination of sgraffito and other reductive processes until visible cues from the past artists and occupants of this house are revealed, I’ve used this data with found “urban artifacts” to evoke a curious dialogue—an imagined conversation influenced by urban legends, archival facts, and my own biomythography.  This house assumes the function of museum, excavation site, lab, and stage, where museological display, contemporary art, and performance converge.

A native Houstonian, Lovie Olivia is a visual artist who employs painting, printmaking, and installation in her work.  She has some formal artistic training, including graduating from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), but she mostly relies on her independent studies of art, culture, music, literature, and history in formulating her work. She has exhibited in Houston at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Art League Houston, Darke Gallery, Gallery M2, Project Row Houses, and Lawndale; in New York at Jam Gallery, Brooklyn, and Medialia; and in Pittsburgh at 36 Steps.  In 2009, she presented her solo exhibition Thrice Removed at Spacetaker ARC, where she officially introduced her first large-scale “contemporary frescos” and installations.

Olivia’s work hangs in numerous private and public collections nationwide, and her decorative interior and restorative painting applications can be found in many homes and businesses throughout Houston.  In addition to pursuing her multifaceted approach to visual art, she also teaches painting in Houston, including at her alma mater, HSPVA.  She continues to volunteer and collaborate with organizations like Project Row Houses, Houston Arts Alliance, and DiverseWorks. Olivia was a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award, funded by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and received The Vivian H. Guy Award for Community Service from Urban Souls Dance Company.

Jessica Vaughn

2507 Holman Street

Right-of-Way-Acquisition is an installation that incorporates the sculpture and sound found between Project Row Houses (PRH), and South Freeway 288 and Southwest Freeway 59 in Houston’s Third Ward.  The highways border the Third Ward on both sides, with PRH positioned in the center of these major city infrastructures.  A sound installation has been built inside the row house at 2507 Holman with the aid of blueprints and reconstruction proposals from PRH’s archives.  These archived construction plans were used during the rebuilding of the row houses from 1993 to the present.

Speakers housed in the sculpture stream sound from the 288 and 59 freeways.  Visitors have the opportunity to respond to this sound via microphones placed inside 2507. I imagine creating a space where a call and response can develop across city infrastructures that have historically stifled economic, racial, commercial, and social mobility and difference through physical separation and distance.

Born in Chicago in 1983, Jessica Vaughn in 2012–13 participated as a resident in the Studio Program, part of the Independent Study Program, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BHA degree from Carnegie Mellon University.  Her work has been featured in publications including Modern Painters magazine, and shown in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; University of Maryland; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Rush Arts Gallery, New York; and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She lives and works in New York.

Troy Gooden

2509 Holman Street
Wards in Color

I organize events that explore and expose the variety and richness of our palates for culture as a common, everyday practice for strengthening community. I work closely with local visual and food artists, business owners, and talented musicians to combine sight, sound, and taste to create a fluid collaborative effect highlighting the accessible beauty, creativity, and talent among us. My goal is to organize events that spotlight our city’s diversity.

In this installation, Troy Gooden work along side with Angel Quesada, Wiley Robertson, Nacho Sanchez and Lee A. Carrier to explores the concept of color as it enriches the human condition of those living, working, and playing in Houston.

Troy Gooden is a community development artist, writer, social entrepreneur, and bartender. When he decided to expand his work as a community organizer beyond the political-social realm to include his passion for art, he began training as an architect. Upon completing his fourth year of study at the University of Houston and armed with his work experiences as an organizer, Gooden left school to begin bringing art to inner-city communities in Houston’s Third, Fifth, and Sixth Wards.  As site plan designer for the Mickey Leland Memorial Park in Houston’s Fifth Ward, one of a five-member group of artists, Gooden was inspired to work on further neighborhood-based public art projects addressing inner-city youth through collaborations with the Community Artists’ Collective and Project Row Houses in the Third Ward and with MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts) in the Sixth Ward.  He has also worked in program development and project management with MOCAH (Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston) and the Houston Arts Alliance, respectively.

Gooden’s writing has appeared both in the regional publications ArtLies and Cite and in the international publication The International Review of African American Art. As a social entrepreneur, a proud native Houstonian, and the go-to person for visiting family and friends, he used his unique perspective on Houston to start the company 4Real Tours (, organizing cultural tours that explore the diversity of the city’s vast offerings through intimate encounters with its visual art, music, and food. With a discerning palate for beer and wine, Troy currently tends bar at the art-centric wine, beer, and sake emporium known as Khon’s in Midtown Houston.

Valerie Piraino

2511 Holman Street

Working in installation, sculpture, and photography, I explore how images can be recontextualized. I think of homes and domestic spaces as sites that are integral to influencing subjectivity, expressed in particular in family photographs and slides.

I see personal mementos as malleable forms. Working from an archive of slides, I create immersive tableaux that critique nostalgia. Drawing from theater, cinema, and literature, I make dramatic and disorienting settings that house images from projected slides. I work to create a psychological backdrop where personal narratives can be continuously reinterpreted.

Born in 1981 in Kigali, Rwanda, Valerie Piraino received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2009.  She was an artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in 2009-2010 and was nominated for a Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant in 2011 and 2012.  Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include “Could Not Bear the Sight of It”: Contemporary Art Interventions on Critical Whiteness at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago, forthcoming in 2014; Photoplay at Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, in 2013; Present Future at Artissima, Turin, Italy, in 2013; Body Language at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in 2013; Fore at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in 2012; Fidelity at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, in 2011; and The Third Party at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, in 2011.  She lives and works in New York City.

Jamal Cyrus in collaboration with Ray Carrington III

2513 Holman Street
Unity Photobank

This project begins with the simple intent of collecting pictures. Not unlike the collection of Jet “Beauty of the Week” photos my cousin Johnny plastered all over the door to his room. A collection. But some collections are harder to come by. I know for certain that I can go into Google Books, type in “Jet Magazine,” and locate PDFs of most if not all of the issues Johnny used as source material for his collaging. But the collection I am trying to acquire via this project is not so easily obtained. Its process of acquisition is more complicated, arduous, and emotionally demanding. I am searching for images of a community, a neighborhood, and not a “residential district,” to use Richard Pryor’s phrasing. I want all of the photographs ever taken within the Third Ward, from the mid 1930s to the present day. Through this search, I am trying to locate the lifeblood of whatever makes this place great (if that can be so simply found). I want glimpses into banks, businesses, houses, hotels, notorious juke joints, sacred religious spaces, courts, parks, fields, and other intimate zones. Not to strip them bare of their privacy, but for each place to see itself from a broader vantage point. So that it might have the opportunity to reconnect with the contours of its geography and the foundation of its values.

Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus’s body of work borrows from revisionist approaches within American history, particularly studies dealing with the formation of Black political and cultural movements. His work acts as a document of the questioning, meditation, and commemoration that seeks to distill, preserve, and extend to future generations the ideas that fuel radical Black political consciousness, social struggle, and aesthetics. Cyrus’s narratives – both real and fictional – highlight the complex relationships between history and the present through their unraveling of performative, visual, and textual sources.

After receiving his BFA from the University of Houston in 2004, Cyrus attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2005, and he received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. He had solo exhibitions at Bryan Miller Gallery, Houston, in 2011, and The Kitchen, New York, in 2009. He participated in group exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, in 2013; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2013; The New Museum, New York, in 2011; Artpace, San Antonio, in 2010; Museum of London Docklands in 2009; and Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium, in 2007. Cyrus’s work was also shown in the 2006 Biennial Day for Night at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is a founding member of the artist collective Otabenga Jones & Associates, with whom he has contributed to exhibitions such as Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy at the High Museum, Atlanta, in 2008 and Lessons from Below at The Menil Collection, Houston, in 2007.

Michelle Barnes and Anthony Suber

2515 Holman Street

The overall purpose and vision for Project Row Houses’ ELEMENTS Program is to value and emphasize the learning that happens informally in our daily lives.  We intend to heighten awareness of the environmental influences that affect culture by focusing attention on the artistic, historic, and social components of Project Row Houses and its home community, Houston’s Third Ward.

Within this umbrella mission, the ELEMENTS Program seeks to engage the community in ways that:

• View African-American culture and community through the lens of the arts, socioeconomics, spirituality, and religion.

• Sharpen problem-solving and analytical proficiencies.

• Cultivate and shape an overall appreciation for those aspects of community reflecting the creative impulses that ultimately sustain it in spite of the destructive forces that also impact its existence.

• Offer children, their families, and patrons alike activities that encourage and promote self-esteem, as well as enhance personal and creative expression as a common ground for unifying/shared experiences.

Anthony Suber

Multimedia artist Anthony Suber is a Texas native working and living in the South. As a painter, sculptor, and educator, he focuses his work on historical references, spirituality, and the contemporary African-American experience seen through the lens of his personal experiences of religion and social relationships in a postmodern society. Drawing on history and art historical references, Suber works primarily with emblematic connections, chronological sequences, and narrative “stills.”  In his work, he seeks to capture a part of the human experience in a way that allows the viewer to participate in the compositional construction.

After graduating from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Suber completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Houston, receiving a BFA in painting.

Michelle Barnes

Michelle Swain Barnes is a Houston-based artist, educator, pro-activist, administrator, facilitator, wife, mother, and grandmother.  She is co-founder and executive director of the Community Artists’ Collective.

The Community Artists’ Collective is a community-based nonprofit organization that since 1987 has led change in service to the community through the arts.  The mission of the Community Artists’ Collective is to create, preserve, promote, and present evidence of African-American cultural traditions, values, and aspirations in the natural and built environment for all audiences.  The organization provides programs of excellence in education, exhibition, community development, and entrepreneurship, generally in collaboration with other individuals, agencies, and organizations.  It builds bridges between services that engage people in generally underserved communities and the creative process.

The Community Artists’ Collective challenges local artists to make their own career decisions, to produce work that truly reflects their unique vision, and to work within an organized effort to give something back to the community from which they have emerged.