Collaborative Art: A Transformational Force within Communities

BY MELISSA G. BUBLITZ, TRACY RANK-CHRISTMAN, LUCA CIAN, XAVIER CORTADA, ADRIANA MADZHAROV, VANESSA M. PATRICK, LAURA A. PERACCHIO, MAURA L. SCOTT, APARNA SUNDAR, NGOC (RITA) TO, AND CLAUDIA TOWNSEND

ABSTRACT This article provides a new perspective on collaborative art as a transformational force to strengthen community and enhance well-being. We outline a best practices-based framework to foster community-based, collaborative art such as co-created community murals. Specifically, we identify a strategic and successive process for collaborative art initiatives by integrating the academic literature on art, aesthetics, community, and consumer research together with the practices of arts organizations working to transform communities through participatory, co created art.

The article highlights the contributions of this work to academic research, public policy, and community organizing efforts and outlines questions to encourage more researchers and practitioners to investigate the dynamics of collaborative art to transform communities.

Commentary: Project Row Houses: Arts, Culture, and Collective Creative Action

By Eureka Gilkey

Project Row Houses (PRH) was founded in 1993 to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African American history and culture. Inspired by the work of German avant-garde artist Joseph Beuys and African American painter Dr. John Biggers, a group of seven Black artists, working and living in Third Ward, purchased 22 historic shotgun-style row houses on two blocks in a disinvested neighborhood and began using the houses as spaces for thematic art interventions. These artists leveraged a broad perspective of art, stemming from Beuys’s concept of art as “social sculpture,” the idea that art is about how individuals shape the world around them. The seven founders of PRH—James Bettison, Bert Long Jr., Jesse Lott, Rick Lowe, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith—perpetuated Beuys’s radical tenet that each individual is an artist, and art can be a continually evolving collective undertaking.

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Houston Matters: The Bigger Picture: Examining The Tie Between Identity And A Sense Of Place

Full article by Abner Fletcher; Interview by Joshua Zinn

On this month’s edition of The Bigger Picture, where Houston Matters examines the bigger issues in recent films, producer Joshua Zinn looks at how the changes a city goes through over time affect local identity.

In the audio above, he talks with Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle arts and entertainment editor, and Eureka Gilkey, Executive Director of the Third Ward-based arts organization Project Row Houses.

Houston Press: Project Row Houses Closes Out Round 49 With a Party

Full article by Doogie Roux

Round 49, Penumbras: Sacred Geometries, highlighted artists whose practices incorporate the ideology of sacred geometries to form structures and landscapes that allude to the body, intent and consciousness. In keeping with the round's theme, Project Row Houses closed it out with a party Sunday. The event boasted a Latin Jazz band along with street food and drinks inspired by the Afro-Latin Diaspora and provided by Etta’s Kitchen. Openings and closing of rounds at Project Row Houses are biannual, in the spring and fall. The next opening will be in October. (Photos by Doogie Roux)