Following three years abroad studying in Scotland and France, I returned to Houston in 2014, where I was born and raised. When I first began exploring Houston's art scene, Project Row Houses (PRH) was one of the primary organizations that I gravitated towards because of its dynamic cultivation of critical dialogues around blackness, community, and history. I can honestly say that Project Row Houses, and especially Curator and Programs Director Ryan N. Dennis, has made a tremendous impact on my creative process and growth as an artist.
I will always be appreciative of the opportunities I've had to exhibit at PRH because those opportunities not only helped to clarify my practice but also unveiled concerns around space as material, temporality, and black interiority that I would not have had the chance to explore otherwise.
It is my honor to be considered a member of the greater PRH family of artists, as Project Row Houses is a renowned leader in the global art community and is an integral part of Houston's reputation as a top-tier art destination. Its dedication to supporting emerging artists of color is unparalleled in Houston's art scene.
I hope you will join me in supporting this program and the other public art initiatives at PRH by clicking here to contribute today. As a member, you provide an invaluable service to emerging artists just like I was not too long ago and ensure that Houston remains at the forefront of innovative artist communities.
PRH gives incomparable and much needed support to artists at all stages of their careers and to the community that surrounds it. I hope that Houston continues to recognize this organization's importance within both the local and global arts community.
Thank you for your support,
Charisse Pearlina Weston
PS: Please come together with Project Row Houses this holiday season for Cocktails in the Courtyard! The event is $50, free for current members, with tables available for $1000, seating up to 10 people. With lovely music and holiday treats, it's surely something not to be missed!
Full article by Molly Glentzer
The current round of installations, "The Act of Doing," examines how the 2-year-old Emancipation Economic Development Council, which the Project co-founded, is dealing with rapid gentrification. One house contains an informative and dense timeline display. Nikita Hodge's Tre Chic pop-up boutique occupies another house, selling goods by black artists and artisans on Saturdays. Several of the other houses feature evocative video installations.
But Newsome hits it out of the park - passing "Go" and then some - by presenting the story of Third Ward's real-estate scramble as a Monopoly game.
Newsome calls himself a smart-aleck with a weird sense of humor. But the pain of this satirical game is real. He grew up in Third Ward, returned as an adult and bought his own fixer-upper home on Southmore about 12 years ago. That place, where he's invested so much sweat equity, now costs him more every year in property taxes, as values skyrocket.
Full post by Mondriaan Fund
On a sunny Monday morning we are met by the amazing McKenzie Watson, artist and ‘guest services representative’ of PRH, who gives us an extensive tour of the project. Project Row Houses was founded by a group of artists including Rick Lowe in 1993; during McKenzie’s introduction to the project Rick walks by and says hello to the group – it seems ‘presence and production’ is the key term here, with everybody involved in PRH taking up crucial roles in the local community in order to be able to create social transformation by relational-artistic means.
One of the main physical sites of PRH is a block and a half of 22 shotgun shacks: cheap wooden architecture that has its design roots in West Africa, purposefully developed to provide comfortable living conditions in the hot and humid Southern climate, where ventilation and communal outdoor space are important issues. PRH restored the shotgun shacks (that derive their name from their elongated rectangular design with successive rooms whereby one woud be able to fire an imaginary shotgun through the front door and out through the back) and repurposed them as exhibition and residency spaces for both local artists and invited guests.
My first visit to Project Row Houses was 12 years ago. I wasn’t a member, just curious about the Third Ward community and how a row of houses was being utilized as art spaces. When I visited, I realized that I was only seeing the organization at its surface. I learned that it was much more than a place to host art installations.
My understanding of Project Row Houses has evolved since that trip. A few years ago, I became a member of PRH's Board of Directors, and it’s been a phenomenal experience. I’ve been treated to rounds of art installations, attended classes on art collecting, listened to community discussions on nearby development and been inspired by the stories of our young mothers. My involvement with the organization has helped me grow as an individual and a citizen.
I hope that today, on Giving Tuesday, you will consider joining the PRH familyas part of their robust membership program. In becoming a member of Project Row Houses, you not only support the organization, you become a member of a community that embraces and enriches a diverse neighborhood.
Whether it’s being engaged in community discussions on development, enriched by another round of installations by incredible artists or empowered to do more to support the Young Mother's Residential Program, there are many ways you can have a meaningful experience as a member of the PRH family.
Next year is the 25th Anniversary of Project Row Houses. We’re looking forward to celebrating the hundreds of artists who have exhibited their work, the families that have participated in our programs and the history of our Third Ward community.
I hope you will join as a member today and gear up for a spectacular year!
PS. Join us for Cocktails in the Courtyard, an evening that's sure to be a wonderful experience whether it's your first time at PRH or your hundredth!