Rick Lowe

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Rick Lowe
NationalityAmerican
EducationColumbus State University (then Columbus College);
Texas Southern University
Occupationartist
Known forSocial Practice Art
AwardsHeinz Award in the Arts and Humanities (2002)
MacArthur fellowship

Rick Lowe (born 1961) is a Houston-based artist and community organizer, whose Project Row Houses is considered an important example of social-practice art. In 2014, he was among the 21 people awarded a MacArthur "genius" fellowship.[1]

Life[edit]

He was born in Alabama. He was trained as a landscape painter, attending Columbus College in Georgia, before moving to Houston in 1985. There, he created politically charged installations and studied with muralist and painter John Biggers at Texas Southern University.[2][3]

He served as the artist-in-residence at the Nasher Sculpture Center, completed a residency with the UC Berkeley Arts Research Center, and was a Mel King Community Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014.[4][5]

In 1999, Rick served as one of six selection committee members for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.[6] He received the 8th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities in 2002.

Project Row Houses[edit]

Project Row Houses' mission is " to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture."[7] Employing the terminology of the German artist Joseph Beuys, Lowe describes the project as "social sculpture."[8][9] He also draws inspiration from the work of artist John T. Biggers (whose own paintings depicted Houston's shotgun homes), working from his Five Pillars: Art and Creativity; Education; Social Safety Nets; Architecture; and Sustainability.[10][11]

PRH dates from 1993, when Lowe worked with other artists - such as David Chung (artist), James Bettison, Bert Long, Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith - and community organizers arranged for the "purchase and restoration of a block and a half of derelict properties — 22 shotgun houses from the 1930s — in Houston's predominantly African American Third Ward."[12][13] These houses were then converted to arts spaces, revitalizing the neighborhood and providing community development for the blighted neighborhood. More than 20 years later, according to an ArtNews article, the project has grown to 49 buildings spread out over 10 blocks and has a support program for young mothers.[14]

This unusual amalgam of arts venue and community support center has served as a model for Lowe to expand into other neighborhoods in need of revitalization. The artist has initiated similar projects in the Watts Housing Project in Los Angeles, in post-Katrina New Orleans, and in a North Dallas neighborhood with a dense immigrant population.[15]

In 1997 Project Row Houses won the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, a national design award that seeks to identify and honor projects that address social and economic concerns of urban design.[16]

References[edit]

External video
Public Artist Rick Lowe, 2014 MacArthur Fellow, MacArthur Foundation[17]
  1. ^ "The New York Times". MacArthur Awards Go to 21 Diverse Fellows. The New York Times. September 17, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  2. ^ Kriston Capps (Sep 19, 2014). "How a Houston Housing Project Earned a MacArthur Grant". Atlantic City Labs. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ Tom Finkelpearl, "Interview: Rick Lowe on Designing Project Row Houses," in Dialogues in Public Art, ed. Tom Finkelpearl (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 243.
  4. ^ Sports, Bad at. "Interview with Rick Lowe | Art Practical". Art Practical. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  5. ^ "MacArthur Foundation website". MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2014 Rick Lowe. MacArthur Foundation. September 17, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  6. ^ http://brunerfoundation.org/rba/index.php?page=committees&sidebar=1
  7. ^ "Project Row Houses". Project Row Houses. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  8. ^ Sports, Bad at. "Interview with Rick Lowe | Art Practical". Art Practical. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  9. ^ "About PRH". Project Row Houses. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  10. ^ Sports, Bad at. "Interview with Rick Lowe | Art Practical". Art Practical. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  11. ^ "About PRH". Project Row Houses. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  12. ^ "MacArthur Foundation website". MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2014 Rick Lowe. MacArthur Foundation. September 17, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  13. ^ Project Row Houses Mission + History http://projectrowhouses.org/about/mission-history/. Retrieved 23 April 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. (April 7, 2014). "How the Art of Social Practice Is Changing the World, One Row House at a Time". ArtNews. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rick Lowe — MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  16. ^ http://brunerfoundation.org/rba/index.php?page=Past
  17. ^ "Rick Lowe". MacArthur Fellows. MacArthur Foundation. September 17, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.