Artist Rick Lowe is Stanford Haas Center’s 2016 Distinguished Visitor

Artist and MacArthur Foundation grant recipient RICK LOWE will visit Stanford over winter quarter as this year’s Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor.

On Feb. 4, Lowe will deliver the Haas Center for Public Service’s Distinguished Visitor Lecture, titled “Redefining Art in the Social Context.” During his time on campus he will also lead seminars and meet with students, faculty and community groups.

Lowe is a Houston-based artist who has exhibited and worked with communities nationally and internationally. President BARACK OBAMA appointed Lowe to the National Council on the Arts in 2013; in 2014 he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

lowe_rowhousesLowe is best known for Project Row Houses (PRH), a community-based art project that he started in Houston in 1993. In collaboration with fellow artists, he organized the purchase and restoration of 22 shotgun houses from the 1930s and turned them into an arts venue and community center in Houston’s Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African American neighborhoods.

PRH’s public arts program offers exhibition spaces and studio residencies, including an exchange between artists based in Houston and Chicago. PRH also offers mentoring and comprehensive arts education for youth, community markets and an incubator program for artists and creative entrepreneurs in the early stages of project development. The nonprofit also offers a transitional housing and support program for young mothers and affordable community housing for low- and moderate-income households in a way that preserves the culture, architecture and history of the Third Ward.

Lowe’s other community projects include Trans.lation in Dallas; the Watts House Project in Los Angeles; the Delray Beach Cultural Loop in Florida; and the Anyang Public Art Program 2010 in Anyang, Korea, and the Borough Project in Charleston, South Carolina, with artist  SUZANNE LACY and curator MARY JANE JACOB.

His work has appeared in the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York; Phoenix Art Museum; Kwangju Biennale, Kwangju, Korea; the Kumamoto State Museum, Kumamoto, Japan; and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

“Stanford is increasingly known for the breadth and depth of its extraordinary arts programs, spaces and presenters,” said Provost JOHN ETCHEMENDY. “We are thrilled to have Rick Lowe in residency as both a distinguished artist and someone deeply committed to public service and the vital role art plays in communities

Among Lowe’s honors are the Rudy Bruner Awards in Urban Excellence, the AIA Keystone Award, the Heinz Award in the arts and humanities, the Skowhegan Governor’s Award, the Skandalaris Award for Art/Architecture and a U.S. Artists Booth Fellowship. He has served as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, a Mel King Fellow at MIT and an Auburn University Breeden Scholar.

“Rick Lowe is pioneering new forms of art that are deeply rooted in, honor and uplift the social context in which art is created and sustained,” said Haas Center faculty director Larry Diamond. “The fact that his work with Project Row Houses spans decades is an impressive testament to this, and we are delighted to have him here for an extended visit to share his inspiration with the Stanford community.”

The Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor Program is a 10-week residency that brings to Stanford prominent individuals whose lives and careers have had significant public impact in the United States and globally. During their stay at Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service, visitors participate in a variety of workshops and meetings with student organizations, faculty, university programs and events hosted by community organizations.

“During my residency, I hope to draw from and contribute to the rich diversity of the campus community reflected in its creative enterprises, thought-provoking dialogues and innovative public service work,” Lowe said.

Previous visitors have included JOHN GITHONGO, a journalist and internationally renowned anti-corruption activist; GRO HARLEM BRUNDTLAND, former prime minister of Norway; JANE LUBCHENCO, former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and former U.S. Sen. RUSS FEINGOLD.

Lowe’s Feb. 4 lecture will begin with reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by the lecture at 5:45 p.m., in McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez Street.

The event is free and open to the public; RSVP is required. Faculty, departments and community organizations interested in hosting a workshop or other event with Lowe should complete this form.