Creators Project: BWA for BLM Offers Space for Dialogue Between Black Female Artists in NY, LA, Houston, and London

Full article by Catherine Chapman

"This is an ideal place for us," [Simone Leigh] tells Creators. "Houston has a long history with community organizing. They're on a next level and I grew up in Chicago during Operation PUSH."

Social justice and racial discrepancies in art are an inherent factor in BWA for BLM's formation, as are the qualities that art possesses in pushing forward social change and grassroots gatherings. "The histories of Black Women's presence, or lack of presence, is unique in these different cities," she says. "Even the geography of the cities. The way LA is totally spread out, for instance, sort of effects the way we know each other. Even the work is different—there's lots of filmmakers in LA and a lot of painters and sculptures in New York."

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.