Rick Lowe: With Project Row Houses I wanted people to see theThird Ward deeper

He is both an artist and a community organizer whose Project Row Houses  has become one of the main highlights in Houston's Third Ward and a nationally awarded cultural initiative.

Rick Lowe's plan to create and keep an urban space for African-American art and for African-American artists in town has also resulted into a local social movement.

"I always hoped that the houses would get people the opportunity to think about African-Americans in a different way... These houses sit in an area that is generally...considered a pocket of poverty, right? ", Rowe says. "But I wanted people to see something different and something deeper in that experience..."

However, he was a late bloomer when it came to art. His plan at college was to be a basketball player but went into art instead, he laughs, "because someone told me it would be in easy class." 

The shift was not hard because, Lowe says, he has always been a driven person, so he shifted his energy and focus from Sports into Art. 

It was when he found out about social sculpture when Lowe realized what he wanted to concentrate on as an artist. He thought about the neighborhood as a sculpture and when he found the houses at the Third Ward, he developed Project Row. The purpose was to develop cultural work directly related to an African-American community and to transform those houses into art studios.

Watch his interview with Khambrel Marshall.