About the Event

May 12 +13, 2016

Site Projects was thrilled to welcome Houston-based artist and 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Rick Lowe, to New Haven for a singular and transformative event series. At the nexus of public art, community activism, and neighborhood revitalization, Site Projects was confident Rick Lowe’s visionary art practice would resonate with and inspire New Haven’s diverse communities.

Over the course of Lowe’s two-day residency in New Haven—May 12+13, 2016—Site Projects arranged five events, all of which were free and open to the public. These included: two artist lectures by Rick Lowe; a Community Lunch at Coogan Pavilion, with a Special Presentation from Danny Samuels, FAIA, Director of Rice Building Workshop, and Panel Discussion featuring New Haven community activists, architects, and artists, which Lowe moderated. (Participants included: Mary Buchanan, Project Manager, DataHaven; Henry Fernandez, Executive Director, LEAP; Titus Kaphar, artist and Founder, Elm City Postmasters Program; Elihu Rubin,  Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies, Yale University.)

“Rick goes into his work with an open mind and a light touch, no preconceived ideas... He lets the people and the place show him the opportunities for artful engagement. To quote a maxim of Project Row Houses, ‘Art feeds our community, and our community feeds art.’”
— Laura Weir Clarke, Executive Director, Site Projects

RICK LOWE: AN INTRODUCTION [Public Lecture + Live Stream]
Thursday, May 12 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Ives Public Program Room, New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.
The artist introduces his practice
Introduction by Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director, Creative Arts Workshop
Available by live-stream at siteprojects.org

Thursday, May 12, 6:00–8:00 pm
Auditorium at Co-Operative High School for the Arts, 177 College St.
Introduction by Taylor Ho Bynum, Composer, Coronet Player, Bandleader
Followed by audience Q&A

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Community Lunch + Roundtable with Rick Lowe
Friday, May 13, 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Coogan Pavilion, Edgewood Park, Enter from West Rock or Whalley Ave. 
Lunch, informal conversation, and a roundtable discussion with community organizers and artists: Mary Buchanan, Project Manager, DataHaven; Henry Fernandez, Exe. Dir., LEAP + CEO, Fernandez Advisors Titus Kaphar, Artist, Founder, Elm City Postmasters Program
Elihu Rubin, Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies, Yale University

With special presentation by Danny M. Samuels, FAIA, Smith Visiting Professor + Dir. of Building Workshop, Rice University


“The long-term goal of the work that I do, whether it’s in Houston or any of the other projects that I’ve worked on, is to try to empower people in their communities, or whatever social context that they’re in, that they too are creative… and can exercise their power as creative practitioners within their own neighborhoods.”
— Rick Lowe

About Rick Lowe

Rick Lowe is the co-founder of Project Row Houses (PRH), a community-based arts and culture non-profit organization in Houston’s northern Third Ward. Its mission is to transform community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture. PRH is a unique experiment in activating the intersections between art, historic preservation, affordable and innovative housing, community relations and development, neighborhood revitalization, and human empowerment. Lowe’s integrative process is accomplished through a holistic and multifaceted approach to community-building that is referred to as social practice art.

In the years since its 1993 inception, PRH has revitalized six blocks of a formerly blighted neighborhood into a vibrant creative beacon for the community. Projects include: renovating small “shotgun” homes built in the 1930s that had fallen into disrepair and repurposing them into studios for visiting artists, providing exhibition spaces for art related to African-American culture, and offering temporary housing for single mothers pursing higher education. PRH, which has grown to include over 70 properties, also incubates initiatives like a food cooperative and a radio station.

About Project Row Houses

RICK LOWE: IN CONVERSATION was made possible by generous support from:

First Niagara Foundation
Mayor Toni N. Harp and the New Haven Cultural Affairs Commission
Carol LeWitt
William Reese and Dorothy Hurt
Site Projects’ Board of Directors


Additional Support Provided by:
Elm City Postmasters Program; New Haven Free Public Library; Fred Clarke FAIA; Andrew Wolf, Director, Department of Arts, Culture + Tourism; Rebecca Bombero, Director, Department of Parks, Recreation + Trees; James Paley, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven; DataHaven; LEAP; Daniel Fitzmaurice, Executive Director, Creative Arts Workshop; New Haven Independent and WNHH

** This project has been made possible with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.