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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Group turns homes into galleries

Four UH student artists are helping to revitalize the inner-city neighborhood of Third Ward by transforming shotgun houses into vessels of art.

Project Row Houses Summer Studio Program allows emerging artists from local universities to take seven houses and make them into artistic venues of creativity.

"Artists establish relationships with Third Ward residents as they mutually share their knowledge about the achievements and contributions of African Americans, particularly in relationship to historic, current and future community interests," Public Arts Manager Ashley Clemmer Hoffman said.

Each artist is given a house and six weeks to create their personal exhibit.

"These seven houses serve as studio spaces for selected artists to create work during a six-week period," Hoffman said.

During their six-week period, artists are exposed to feedback and critiques from professional artists and support from the project’s public art manager, who gives them opportunities to develop their craft.

Project Row Houses was founded in 1993 on the principal of combining art, community and historic preservation for the good of the residents’ future. The mission of the project is to communicate through the commemoration of black heritage.

"Project Row views virtually all of its arts and cultural programming as ‘public art.’ All projects are developed to respond to our community, involve our community and somehow reflect our community," Hoffman said.

UH sculpture senior Marty Joyce constructed an exhibit emphasizing the idea of individuals pushing shopping carts.

"Through the use of shopping carts, a familiar and practical tool used by most people, I allow the viewer to draw their own personal parallels between the object and its possible symbolism: consumption, inner-city life, homelessness, art, childhood or anything else," Joyce said.

Photography senior Janet Rowe created a house full of body images. Her task was to create an exhibit that would address race relations.

"I created this installation for Project Row Houses to question the racial bias of modern society by addressing the simple notion that skin color is not enough to segregate people from each other," Rowe said.

The students’ work along with the installations of UH digital media senior Tony "Rocky" Perez and painting senior Jake Jones will be showcased at noon today at Project Row Houses, 2521 Holman Ave. The exhibition, which is free of charge, will run through Sunday.

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