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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
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As the founder of Project Row Houses, an organization that merges art and architecture with social activism, Rick Lowe has given new meaning to the phrase "artist-in-residence." In 1990, as an artist depicting the social problems facing African-Americans, he was confronted by a young student touring his studio. "We don't need people to tell us what the issues are; we need solutions," the young man challenged him. "If you are so creative, why don't you create some!" In an audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Lowe describes how his response to that challenge, an experiment in "social sculpture," is redefining the role of art and artists in society.
From the beginning of his career, Rick Lowe has been committed to merging art with activism. He founded Project Row Houses, a program that turned 22 “shotgun” houses in the middle of one of Houston’s poorest neighborhood into art galleries, workshop spaces, offices, and housing for young single mothers. Today, Project Row Houses is a well-established public art program that the NEA considers to be a model for similar projects in other cities across the country. Lowe’s work has been included in national and international exhibitions and programs. He was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University School of Design, and has worked as the chief arts planner with Rem Koolhaas, architect of the new Seattle Public Library. He was a 2003 recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Arts Award for Organizations Tackling Critical Issues, and in 2005, he received the Prestigious Artist's Award.