Round 49

Round 49 | penumbras: sacred geometries

Charo Oquet’s installation  Written on Skin and Sacred Gestures . Project Row Houses, Round 49: penumbras: sacred geometries, 2019. Courtesy of william cordova.

Charo Oquet’s installation Written on Skin and Sacred Gestures. Project Row Houses, Round 49: penumbras: sacred geometries, 2019. Courtesy of william cordova.

March 16, 2019: Round 49 Opening, Artists’ Talks & Market

  • Artists’ Talks | 2:30 pm

  • Opening & Market | 4:00 - 7:00 pm

Viewing Period
March 16, 2019 - June 9, 2019

Open to the Public
Wednesday through Sunday | Noon - 5:00 pm

Round 49: penumbras: sacred geometries highlights artists whose practices incorporates the ideology of sacred geometries to form structures and landscapes that allude to the body, intent, and consciousness. In 1995, artist Bob Powell participated in Round 3, with the intention on deepening the sacred geometry theories while also demonstrating how artist Dr. John Biggers embedded mathematical concepts within his paintings. Building upon this foundation, each artists participating in Round 49 will create six site-specific installations within the shot-gun-style houses on Holman Street.   

Round 49 Artists:

  • Onajide Shabaka (US) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes story-telling through short narrative films and expansive installations whose materials are drawn from organic matter.   

  • Juana Valdes (Cuba) is a research-based artist whose travels bridge geographic moments that speak on the economy of labor, aesthetics, and resistance in the Caribbean.   

  • Yanira Collado's (Dominican Republic) work is rooted in the synthesis of African fractals, slave quilts, and geometric concepts. Her work produces and highlights the complexity of abstraction as a non-western narrative rooted in African tradition.    

  • Aramis O'Reilly (Cuba) creates alternative landscapes that relate to color based systems of communication and the harmony of the spheres; an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies.

  • Charo Oquet (Dominican Republic) is an interdisciplinary artist whose installation based work draws from the intersection of sacred geometries and constellational patterns originating in Veve symbols and Taíno cosmograms.   

  • Leticia Contreras (Afromexican) is an artist who reframes the unframed through photography, performance and site-specific installation capturing the felt essence of our presence in temporal structures and abandoned vessels.

Sitting on a Man's Head, a special project by okwui okpokwasili and peter born, will be on view as part of the collaboration with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Round 49 is co-curated by PRH Curator and Programs Director Ryan N. Dennis and cultural practitioner william cordova.   

Round 48

Round 48 | Beyond Social Practice

Armina Mussa, Fragility - Death installation view. Project Row Houses, Round 48: Beyond Social Practice, 2018. Photo by Alex Barber.

Armina Mussa, Fragility - Death installation view. Project Row Houses, Round 48: Beyond Social Practice, 2018. Photo by Alex Barber.

Round 48 Opening & Block Party
October 13, 2018 | Noon - 7:00 pm

Viewing Period
October 13, 2018 - February 17, 2019

Open to the Public
Wednesday through Sunday | Noon - 5:00 pm

Round 48: Beyond Social Practice takes its title from the Social Practice.Social Justice symposium organized on the occasion of PRH’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Through this ongoing investigation of exploring how social practice is defined, who defines it and what it means for artists, collectives and institutions, Round 48 brings together a group of artists deeply engaged in collaborative practices that speak to social issues related to identity, politics, activism. “Social practice" emerged from academia to encapsulate the scope of community-based and socially engaged practices that artists have utilized for decades. The term, as ascribed to these practices, is synonymous with the proliferation of academic programs that could be seen as troubling in their attempts to capture, pare down and replicate what has come before. As with the symposium, Round 48 looks to the multitude of forms that “social practice” takes in contemporary art, exploring organic efforts that move beyond the name and elevate the spirit of socially engaged art through their actions.

Round 48 Artists:

  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Brooklyn, NY): Fazlalizadeh’s installation “The Personal as Political” creates a space for people to talk candidly about their experiences being black, women, and/or queer. Their personal stories will then be used to create political art that disrupts the common narrative and forces a new perspective on identity and activism.

  • Armina Mussa (Los Angeles, CA): Mussa’s installation “Out of One’s Skin” uses various mediums such as sculpture, video, duration performance, and performance documentation to allude to the practices of repressive and violent environments.

  • Tia-Simone Gardner (Houston, TX): Gardner’s “The Black Power Station” is a digital audiobook archive and mobile sound installation that highlights authors of African descent whose works were published before 1923, but have fallen out of print.

  • Lisa Harris (Houston, TX): Harris’ “House of Practice” is a holistic recreation center that creates a sacred space and a healing environment through the use of cool colors, calming and orderly interiors, mirrors, furniture, literature and a practitioner. The installation offers organic practices, materials, and information as alternatives to overindulgence in pharmaceutical consumption and digital recreation.

  • Dawn Weleski (Pittsburgh, PA): Weleski’s “Noon at Night” is a pay-what-you-can bakery serving international baked goods, while connecting customers in real-time to other cafés and patrons around the world. “Noon at Night” opens when the sun sets and doesn’t close until sunset the next day, allowing customers in Houston to converse via video conferencing with customers in cafés half a world away where their hour is noon. 

  • jackie sumell (New Orleans, LA): Sumell’s “gRow House” will fill the space with flowers chosen by incarcerated mothers from prisons across the U.S. The installation, which recognizes that 80% of incarcerated women and girls are mothers, invites visitors to plant the seedlings chosen by the women, document their transformation, and share the images with the moms through a prisoner-support app called Flikshop.

  • The Design Studio for Social Intervention (Boston, MA): The Design Studio for Social Intervention will create a “Social Emergency Response Center” with the intention of taking social emergencies that we presently face to help individuals pivot out of despair, rage, and hopelessness into collective, creative, and radical action. The House will be programmed as a space for activists, artists, and Third Ward residents to gather and activate in ways that feel useful and inspiring.

From healing spaces as a site for a holistic recreation center, to connecting with communities in other countries, the featured work highlights the critical role that artists play in shaping and framing socio-political issues while demonstrating their ties to various social justice movements and strategies.

Round 48 is organized by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator at Programs Director at Project Row Houses.

Round 47

Round 47 | The Act of Doing: Preserving, Revitalizing and Protecting Third Ward 

Opening + Free Market Square
October 14, 2017 | 4-7pm 

Artist Talks
October 14, 2017 | 3pm  

Viewing Period
October 14, 2017 – March 25, 2018 

Gentrification is reshaping the social and physical landscape of Third Ward, threatening the future of this historic African American community. In the face of uncertainty, an unprecedented coalition of churches, nonprofits, community development corporations, business owners, artists, and residents formed the Emancipation Economic Development Council (EEDC). Since its founding in 2015, the EEDC has developed a rigorous set of strategies for revitalizing and protecting this historic neighborhood while preserving its rich African American culture.  

The Act of Doing amplifies the questions posed by the EEDC – questions of place, displacement, ownership, and creative community organizing - while documenting its formation and early impact on the community through a timeline installation and an interactive space capturing the stories ignored in the gentrification process. While these houses are dedicated to the EEDC's journey, several installations will house a poetic exchange between local artists and the vision of the Council. 

Throughout the duration of Round 47, artists, residents, and community organizers will collaborate to host a series of workshops, events, and direct actions. These events will support the EEDC in achieving its vision for Third Ward, as “a resilient, dynamic, and economically prosperous community where people live, work and thrive in a historically and culturally rich African-American neighborhood.”  

In conjunction with the opening of the Round, Free Market Square will organize a family friendly market with vendors and performers from the Third Ward and communities across Houston.  

Participating artists include Right to Stay, Right to Say (Zeinab Bakhiet, Olutomi Subulade, & Melanie Meleekah Villegas); Brian Ellison; Danielle Fanfair, Harrison Guy, Marlon Hall, & Anthony Suber; Nikita Hodge; Sofia Mekonnen; and Marc Newsome. Round 47 also features Collaboration Timeline House, designed by Adelle Main. 

Round 47 is organized by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director, in collaboration with Dr. Assata Richards of Sankofa Research Institute.

Round 46

Round 46 | Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses

Opening + Community Market
March 25, 2017 | 4-7pm

Viewing Period
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. 

Round 45

Round 45 | Local Impact

Opening Reception
October 22, 2016 | 4-7pm

Viewing Period
October 22, 2016 - February 12, 2017

Local Impact highlights the distinctive interests of seven artists deeply rooted in Houston’s arts community. Championed as one of the most diverse cities in the country, Houston has a rich community of artists and creative practitioners which aid in keeping it relevant and exciting. The city is saturated with artists thinking about their practices and how they relate to enhancing and elevating the myriad of conversations taking place about our city. The level of rigor, collaboration and critique offered by artists for citizens to consider is inspiring and a necessary piece for this culturally thriving city. While this Round is not thematic, it looks at individual artists producing installations and public programs approaching themes around African-American history and pop culture, collaborative public art, place and identity, climate change and tourism, modern forms of communication and media consumption and radical imagination as a means of healing. From performances that create environments for engagement and contemplation to site-specific sculptures that generate ideas and articulate poetic and philosophical concerns about home, the featured work highlights the role that artists play in contributing to Houston’s culture. With so many drastic changes taking place in the city, our artists remind us that the visual arts ecosystem remains a platform for us to acknowledge history, place, and new ways of seeing and critiquing, which ultimately shape the way we engage our city and expand our ideas outward. 

Participating artists include Regina AguJooYoung ChoiSally GlassJesse Lott + Ann HarithasTierney MaloneHarold Mendez, and Patrick Renner. Round 45 is curated by Public Art Director Ryan N. Dennis. Through the duration of the Round, artists will present a variety of public programs. Please visit the calendar for more information. 

In conjunction with this Round, Ann Harithas has organized an exhibition of collaborative collages made by her and PRH founding artist Jesse Lott. Not only will Jesse Lott have work on view in the 2505 Holman Street Art House, he will also be celebrated and honored this Fall at Art League Houston in the “Artist in Action: Jesse Lott” exhibition opening on September 30; 14 Pews is currently producing a film that will air in November; Mystic Lyon, a new space in the Fifth Ward where Lott grew up, will have a window installation of his work open in mid-September; and in conjunction with Sculpture Month Houston in October/November, Lott will be included in the exhibits From Space to Field at The Silos at Sawyer Yard and Friendly Fire at the Station Museum. 

All photos by Alex Barber