Rick Lowe

Rick Lowe speaks at the third World Summit on Arts and Culture. Photo courtesy of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies.

Artist and community activist Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses (PRH), a neighborhood-based nonprofit arts and cultural organization in Houston’s Northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American communities. PRH began in 1993 as a result of discussions among African-American artists who wanted to establish a positive, creative presence in their own community, using art as a foundation for revitalizing a depressed inner-city neighborhood. Lowe spearheaded the pursuit of this vision when he discovered an abandoned block-and-half of 22 shotgun-style houses in Houston’s Third Ward, which presented the opportunity to pursue a new form of art. Over two decades, PRH’s campus has grown from the original site to six blocks and from 22 houses to 40 properties, including 12 artist exhibition and/or residency spaces, seven houses for young mothers, artist residencies, office spaces, a community gallery, a park, and low-income residential and commercial spaces. Project Row Houses’ programs and events encompass arts and culture, neighborhood revitalization, low-income housing, education, historic preservation and community service.

Lowe visited The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in September 2011 to talk with recent Pew Fellows about his work with PRH. He is also currently working with Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) on a Center-funded, community-driven revitalization project on Pearl Street, an under-used alley behind AAI’s building in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North neighborhood. Over the course of two years, Lowe will work with residents in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood to re-imagine how the alley can be transformed into a place where locals of varying backgrounds spend time together.


Grants & Grantees

By convening a national task force of artists, cultural leaders, and city officials, led by Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson, the OACCE will begin a yearlong discovery process to investigate how city government can engage a broad spectrum of communities in civic dialogue through large-scale temporary public art.

What you need to know before applying for a 2017 Project grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Artist Barkley L. Hendricks suggests that whether or not an artist is deemed contemporary is really about who is doing the talking.

Grants & Grantees

Temple Contemporary commissioned 2006 Pew Fellow and MacArthur Fellow Pepón Osorio to create a new installation that responds to recent closings of Philadelphia public schools.

This project investigated various issues surrounding (co-)authorship in cultural production, asking questions around definitions of authorship, collaboration, audience participation, the influence of marketplace, and other concepts.

Performance artist Anya Evans will present her ongoing performance piece Operation Catsuit.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Eugenie Tsai is the Brooklyn Museum’s John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art.

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy manages the largest and oldest public art program in the country, while The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia seeks to improve quality of life for all Philadelphians by facilitating collaborations between the city’s public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Composer Julia Wolfe, whose music is inspired by the folk, classical, and rock genres, is co-founder of New York’s music collective Bang on a Can.

The Association for Public Art developed an interactive audio tour to interpret Philadelphia’s vast collection of public sculptures.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Noted abstract painter Thomas Nozkowski is known for his richly colored and intimately scaled paintings.

Grants & Grantees

Hayes blends various mediums—including video, performance, installation, and photography—to probe the complex intersections of history, politics, gender, and speech within private and public spaces.