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Project Row Houses

Location: Houston, USA


Project Row Houses is a public art project which instigated the renovation of twenty-two houses in an historic area of Houston and their subsequent use for art installations. The project is in an area of Houston which has deep historical and cultural traditions dating back to its formation at the end of the Civil War. The idea for the initiative came out of discussions amongst some of Houston’s African-American artists who wanted to create an active presence in the black community. Artists and volunteers working together have renovated the site of 2500 Holman and the twenty-two houses on the land, with financial and material support from the city’s corporations, foundations and arts organisations.

Since 1996, ten of the houses have been locations for temporary installations by artists in a variety of media, rotated on a six-month cycle. The installations refer to the history and cultural issues relevant to the African-American community. Seven of the adjacent houses in the row accommodate the Young Mothers’ Residential Programme which provides transitional housing and services for young mothers and their children.


Local, regional, national and international artists are asked to create site-specific art works that serve as catalysts to constructive dialogues on urban life. The artists' visit to the site begins the collaborative process involving neighbourhood residents in the creation of art works that speak to issues springing from this community.

Installations at Project Row Houses involve artists transforming the interiors of ten shotgun-style row houses. Through a creative process beginning with workshop and discussion sessions, the artists begin a dialogue with the neighborhood residents. By connecting artists with social, cultural and educational resources, the project creates the opportunity for new dialogues which can cross cultural and economic boundaries allowing for issues critical to inner city development to be more closely examined.

Artists in the current round (April to September 2003 inclusive) include: Letitia Guillory, Mary Hawkins, Robin Hill, Michael Meazell, Angelbert Metoyer, Dune Patten, and Virginia Prescott. Full details of current exhibitors and their installations are included on the project website, with lists of previous exhibitors.

Key Issues

  • An example of permanent neighbourhood action and development initiated and subsequently sustained by artists in their own locality.
  • Domestic space converted and used as a location for public art.


For further information visit the project website www.projectrowhouses.org

© Copyright Joanna Morland 2001.