The Creators Project: 22 Houses Preserve Black History and Culture in Houston

Full Article by Antwaun Sargent

In the early 90s, a group of high school students visited Rick Lowe’s artist studio in Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood. A student asked how Lowe could use his art to help foster change in the community. Lowe didn’t have an answer, but in 1993, gathered a group of local artists to see how they could use art to revitalize the Third Ward. Inspired by artist Joseph Beuys’ idea of a “social sculpture,” Lowe and the group of artists bought 22 dilapidated row houses that line a street in downtown Houston. The art-based project became known as the nonprofit, Project Row Houses.

23 years later, Project Row Houses has grown into an artist community comprised of houses that bring museum-quality work to the historically black community. The project also offers multiple artist residency programs, temporary shelter for single mothers, and after school and public art programs. In 2003, in partnership with Rice University, Project Row Houses launched Row House CDC, to build 57 permanent affordable housing units for families living in the northern section of the Third Ward community.

Houstonia: Project Row Houses Wants to See Things Differently

Full Article by Sarah Douglass

STORIED THIRD WARD ARTS ORGANIZATION PROJECT ROW HOUSES’upcoming exhibition, Shattering the Concrete: Artists, Activists and Instigators, uses creative practice to spark conversations, build relationships and begin shifting power in the art world from the ground up.

“The exhibition is really about the intersection between art and activism,” guest curator Raquel de Anda said of the biannual, site-specific exhibit.

Seven houses in the Third Ward serve as canvases for socially engaged art. Each house tackles a social issue that directly resonates with hyper local communities in Houston. Themes range from police brutality, environmental justice to indigenous language preservation.