Otis President Bruce W. Ferguson chatted with Houston-based artist Rick Lowe at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA during a special luncheon with the artist and Otis students concluding nine months of community development through art and social practice in Antelope Valley, CA.
Lowe was awarded a MacArthur “genius” fellowship in 2014. His work Project Row Houses, dating from 1993, is considered an important example of social-practice art. With a group of fellow artists, he organized the purchase and restoration of a block and a half of derelict properties – 22 shotgun houses from the 1930s – in Houston’s predominantly African American Third Ward and turned them into Project Row Houses (PRH), an inspiring and groundbreaking amalgam of arts venue and community support center.
The artist recently participated in Open Conversations, a series of free public lectures and workshops that bring leading artists to Antelope Valley, CA to discuss and demonstrate the values of social practice. In partnership with the Lancaster Museum of Art and History and Otis College of Art and Design’s MFA Public Practice program, these events explore the potential for future projects in Littlerock and Sun Village as part of the Antelope Valley Art Outpost, a creative placemaking project that supports regional vitality through artist-driven projects. Managed by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Outpost dovetails with the development of the Antelope Valley General Plan and is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the California Arts Council with support from Metabolic Studio.