Art feeds our community, and our community feeds art. Even when a round has not officially opened, visitors are always welcome to visit the row houses and engage with the artists during install to learn more about the upcoming projects.
Round 46 | Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses
Opening + Community Market
March 25, 2017 | 4-7pm
March 25 - June 4, 2017
What happens when individual artists use their platform for collective organizing to address challenging socio-political economic issues we face as a society? This Round will utilize the seven art houses as a platform to cultivate public dialogues about the issues that impact the lives and movement of Black People while creating space for the general public to get involved in generative ways. Throughout the houses, a collection of objects, ephemera, performance, digital and installation-based work by the many women of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter will be installed. Some houses will be home to immersive installations of videos while other houses will create opportunities for the public to create ephemera and host meetings to respond and organize based on our current political moment while addressing issues that impact the lives of Third Ward residents.
During the incubation period, we will work with local artists to establish a chapter of BWA for BLM in Houston and to create an installation or performance based on conversations. The Houston chapter will become a part of the larger network of BWA for BLM groups that are active in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London.
4pm | Welcome from Executive Director Eureka Gilkey followed by an introduction to the Round by Public Art Director Ryan N. Dennis and Simone Leigh
4:15pm | BWAforBLM will lead a processional through the community, gathering at the art houses on Holman Street for a ceremony claiming the space.
4:30pm | Living Altar, 2511 Holman - A living altar will be formed outside of the art house as a sign of respect to the Third Ward community and its elders, asking them for permission to enter and build community within Third Ward and Project Row Houses.
5pm | A Litany II: (dis)place, 2511 Holman - Mirroring the performance A Litany on Sep. 1, 2017 at the New Museum, this performance will explore themes that include: Home, Displacement, what is Spoken/Unspoken, Water, Land, and homage to black and brown bodies impacted and lost as a result of injustices by police officers.
6pm | Second performance of A Litany II: (dis)place, 2511 Holman
Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter is a collective of Black women, queer, and gender non-conforming artists. We formed in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and believe that a unified and polyvocal front is a powerful agent of change in the fight against racialized violence. In coming together, we are committed to producing work that addresses Black care and self-determination.
Origins of BWAforBLM
While in residence at the New Museum during the summer of 2016, artist Simone Leigh used the museum as a platform to gather Black women artists for a call to action following the murders of Philando Castilo and Alton Sterling in July 2016. The women held a series of convenings over the summer to discuss police brutality and how they as artists could address this urgent issue collectively.
The group formed Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter with the goal of understanding the interdependence of care and action, self-defense and self-determination, and desire and possibility in order to highlight and renounce pervasive conditions of racism. The work of BWA for BLM involves de-centering whiteness, a necessity in this political climate--but also a necessity in the art world in which we operate.
Untitled, Ephemera Group of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, 2017. Photo by Alex Barber