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The TréFonos


The TréFonos Opening

September 1, 2018 | 1 - 4 pm
Locations TBD

The TréFonos is a series of three payphones that feature the voices of Third Ward through recordings. The payphones exist as sculptural works transformed through painting and metalwork. They are to be installed on Emancipation Avenue in three different locations. The first payphone, titled El Mix-Tape, is an anthology of Third Ward’s local musicians. The second is an anthology of stories from residents of Third Ward, and the third payphone will be designed in collaboration with other artists and creatives from other projects in Project Row House’s Strategic Art Plan and Visit My Neighborhood. By using the existing interface of the payphone, each sculpture will have twelve available buttons. Nine of the buttons (1-9) will play one of nine recordings featuring Third Ward neighbors. The bottom three buttons (*0#) of the keypad will function to play the project’s colophon as well as a record and playback function that allows neighbors to leave messages for each other.

By building community and extending this opportunity to creatives in Third Ward, the artists hope to identify three different ambassadors in the Third Ward neighborhood. These ambassadors embody the role of “curator” for each phone. By thinking of each ambassador as someone interested in building relationships in the Third Ward community, Los TréFonos takes steps to present opportunities to further interest within the theme of each payphone. Our goal is to create synergy centering in Northern Third Ward and expand into the greater Houston area and beyond.


Matt Fries and Julian Luna are a collaborative duo working primarily in large-scale, interactive sculpture, utilizing light, sound, and a wide array of materials. Their work focuses on empowering the viewer as an active participant in their own aesthetic experience. Matt Fries approaches design from a background as a musician and an electronic instrument maker. Julian Luna has been building art cars since 2003 and focuses in wood, metal, and plastic sculpture. He currently works as a custom furniture fabricator for Dump Truck Design. By combining their unique skill sets, Fries and Luna create structures and spaces otherwise unachievable on their own. Their notable works include The Tripatorium, an inhabitable, interactive, light and sound cube shown regularly throughout Texas for twenty-two months in various locations; a series of large, illuminated, metal candles modeled after veladoras for Free Press Summer Fest 2016; and, most recently, an award winning art car shown at Discovery Green for Super Bowl Live, the 2017 Houston Art Car Parade, and the 2017 Pride Parade.

Jeanette Degollado uses the backdrop of the “Street Art” experience, which is occurring in the metro-plexus of many of our nation’s developing and sprawling urban districts. Degollado explores the many different dimensions of graffiti, mural art, photography, social sculpture, and self-determination. As a multidisciplinary artist, Degollado concentrates on developing new methodologies of collaboration. Her fascination with documentation, image capturing, infrastructure, hanging-out, and dialogue directs her to create artwork that challenges how society experiences art as it relates to transformative art practices. Degollado believes that we find ourselves through radical acts and that through collaboration we experience a greater sense of self. She strives to disrupt our inherent systems of colonized life through the redistribution and reexamination of culture, value, and resource. Much like love, she believes that by looking at art as something we strive to be in the midst of, we find a new self.

Earlier Event: August 25
Emancipation Avenue Bus Stop Tours
Later Event: September 22
SIDI - The City of Elders