I have been meaning to write about this great project for quite some time, and just remembered when I was browsing Walter Hood’s website. It was a timely reminder, as the next round of installations starts on March 17. In an effort to preserve existing row house architecture, give artists projects to present to the public, and support single mothers, the Houston Project Row House sprung up.
Artist Rick Lowe founded Project Row House in 1990. He went from creating art about the community to integrating art and community participation (or said another way, making the community the art, or making the community make the art, I just can’t quite seem to say this correctly – it’s such a good idea it’s hard to express it perfectly). With the help of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and a lot volunteers, he and a group of artist were able to buy up and restore a group of decrepit row houses in Houston’s Third Ward. The homes provide spaces for artists-in-residence to work on projects in the houses. For a much more eloquent article about Rick Lowe and Project Row House, check out The New York Times.
The Young Mothers in Residency program soon grew out of Project Row House, and this led to the development of a sister organization, the Row House Community Development Corporation (RHCDC). The mission of RHCDC is “to develop housing for low to moderate income resident, public space and facilities to preserve and protect the historic character of the Third Ward. ” Some of their current projects include The Hannah Project – the construction of sixteen new housing units affordable for working families who have a single woman as the head of the household. Another project is Rehabilitation/Rent to Own. “Row House CDC will acquire, renovate, and rent (affordably) up to 38 rental units. These units will offer rents affordable to families earning approximately half of the Harris County median income.”
To support Rowhouse CDC click here.
For more information about the next round of installations, click here. Here’s a little bit from the site:
Round 26 will open March 17, 2007 and run through June 24, 2007; featuring the art works by:
- Pavel Banka – Photographer, Prague, Czech Republic
- Barsamian – Painter by Discipline, Installation Artist
- Thurman “T” Brown – Digital Media Artist, Photographer, Writer
- Ray Carrington – Photographer
- Rita Duffy – Painter, Belfast, Ireland
- J. Hill – Sculptor, Installation Artist, Oral Historian
- Lynne McCabe – Interdisciplinary Artist, Great Brittain
Round 26 will focus on the “People, Places, and Things of the Northern Third Ward”
Artists will include photographers, digital media, installation and multi-media artists who will engage with residents within a 35-block area targeted by Project Row Houses to capture, reflect and/or tell the stories of area residents. The final product of this exploration will be exhibited in seven Artist Project Houses located between 2505 and 2517 Holman Street.