Black Lunch Table at PRH


Black Lunch Table at Dorchester Projects’s Black Artist Retreat, 2014. Photo courtesy the artists

Black Lunch Table at Dorchester Projects’s Black Artist Retreat, 2014. Photo courtesy the artists

Project Row Houses to present The Black Lunch Table and Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Wikipedia Edit-a-thons | Project Row Houses |2521 Holman St.

Monday, March 14, 2016 | 6:30pm

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | 6:30pm

Houston, TX – Feb. 4, 2016 – Project Row Houses (PRH) is pleased to announce that The Black Lunch Table (BLT), a collaborative project by artists Heather Hart and Jina Valentine, will be brought to the PRH site as part of a residency with Visual Artists Network (VAN). Hart and Valentine founded BLT as a means to fill gaps in the documentation of contemporary art and change the discourse of art history.

“We artists of color working in the field of mainstream contemporary art are still working on the margins of the field,” Hart and Valentine said. “Much of our history is omitted from larger art historical narratives and studies of vernacular production.”

Operating for over a decade, the project has taken a variety of forms, using the lunch table as both literal and metaphorical sites for dialogue and action. Its iteration at PRH will see the artists host two Wikipedia Edit-a-thons, in which the community is invited to create, update and improve Wikipedia articles focused on the lives and works of artists of color based on first person accounts and research.

Following the Edit-a-thons, BLT will work with Houston-based artists of color to record conversations, personal accounts and stories as well as critical discourse around relevant work and exhibitions. Materials from these sessions will go into the BLT archive to be preserved and used for a larger, more inclusive narrative in art history and contemporary art.

About Project Row Houses

Project Row Houses (PRH) is a community-based arts and culture non-profit organization in Houston’s northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African American neighborhoods. The mission of Project Row Houses is to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture. Learn more at

About The Black Lunch Table

The Black Lunch Table (BLT) is an ongoing collaboration between artist and UNC Assistant Professor of Art Jina Valentine and New York-based, public artist, Heather Hart. The project was first staged in 2005 at the preeminent artist residency Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The BLT has since taken the forms of audio archiving sessions, salons, peer teaching workshops, meetups and Wikipedia edit-a-thons. BLT has been hosted by Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects in Chicago, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Creative Time in Brooklyn, UNC Chapel Hill, Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte. BLT was awarded a 2016 Creative Capital Grant, a Digital Innovation Lab Fellowship from Institute for Arts and Humanities at UNC Chapel Hill, and an Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Foundation. BLT has been featured in Hyperallergic, Yes!Weekly, ArtFCity, Burnaway, Artsy, and the Skowhegan Journal. Hart received her MFA from Rutgers University with studies at Princeton University and Valentine received her MFA from Stanford University.

About Visual Artists Network

Visual Artists Network (VAN), a national network of visual artists, curators, and exhibitors providing opportunities and subsidy support for under-recognized visual artists, nurtures the creation of experimental artwork and supports the touring of contemporary visual artists and their work.

Programming at Project Row Houses is generously supported by Mark Bradford; The Brown Foundation;  Bruner Foundation Inc.; Chevron; The Nathan Cummings Foundation; William Stamps Farish Fund; Agnes Gund; William J. Hill Land & Cattle Co.; Houston Endowment Inc.; Joan Hohlt & Roger Wich Foundation;  Kensinger Donnelly; Jeanne and Michael Klein; The Kresge Foundation; The Lewis Family Foundation; Marc Melcher; John P. McGovern Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; National Performance Network’s Visual Artists Network; Nightingale Code Foundation; Betty Pecore and Howard Hilliard; Picnic; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; South Texas Charitable Foundation; Texas Capital  Bank; Texas Commission on the Arts; Susan Vaughan Foundation; and a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.