Rick Lowe

Renowned Artist Rick Lowe in Residency with Institute for Social Research in Partnership with U-M Arts Initiative

March 6, 2024

ANN ARBOR — The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) will host Houston-based artist Rick Lowe as part of the U-M Arts Initiative’s Creators on Campus program. An artist discussion featuring Lowe, and ISR Director Kate Cagney will take place on March 12.

Residency Details
Rick Lowe, a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” Fellow, is recognized for his community-based art projects over the past two decades. For this residency, he is collaborating with Abigail Winograd, an internationally-renowned curator who has worked with Lowe since 2018.

Beginning in Fall 2024, Lowe will work closely with ISR and U-M faculty to conduct research that explores the social impact of the arts in the region which will lead to producing a work of public art. “We are thrilled to welcome Rick Lowe and incorporate his innovative, community-focused vision into our work,” said Kate Cagney. “Lowe will engage with social science scholars at ISR and across the university to identify ways in which social science and the arts can come together to seed novel research and inform creative practice.”

The residency is supported by the Arts Initiative Visiting Artist Integration Project (VAIP) which partners artists with campus units and is one example of the broader Creators on Campus program. “The Arts Initiative is thrilled to support Rick Lowe in this residency with ISR,” said Christopher Audain, Managing Director of the Arts Initiative. “Collaborations like these are exciting as they create space and capacity for something novel to arise, while helping us see the world under a different light.”

Rick Lowe visited Ann Arbor and Detroit in December 2023. During this initial visit, the artist connected with faculty across various disciplines, including political science, history, urban planning, sociology and social work. Several Detroit site visits were central to the trip, including to neighborhoods, new development projects, and with City of Detroit Planning and Development personnel, with the goal of developing a richer understanding of Detroit history and the current economic state of the City and its communities.

Visiting Artists

Rick Lowe is an artist based in Houston, Texas, with formal training in the visual arts. Over the past twenty years, he has created nationally and internationally exhibited artworks, as well as pioneering community-based art projects. In 1993, Rick founded Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in a historically significant and culturally charged neighborhood in Houston, Texas. He has spearheaded other impactful arts-based community programs like the Watts House Project in Los Angeles and the Delray Beach Cultural Loop in Florida.

Lowe has exhibited widely including at the Phoenix Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and galleries across the U.S., Korea, Japan and Europe. His works have been part of major events like the Gwangju Biennale and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Abigail Winograd is an independent curator who is currently Commissioner and Curator of the US pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale as well as the co-director and chief curator of Pueblo Unido Gallery in Chicago, IL. Winograd received a doctorate in art history from the University of Texas at Austin and has additional degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Toward Social Change: Building a Reciprocal Relationship between Social Science and the Arts

A kickoff event is scheduled for March 12 at 6 p.m. at Taubman College in The Commons (2000 Bonisteel Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48109) and will include a panel discussion with Lowe, moderator Kate Cagney, Chicago Artist Tonika Johnson, sociologist Maria Krysan, and curator Abigail Winograd. Jonathan Massey, Dean of Taubman College, will give introductory remarks. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public with RSVP encouraged.

VAIP is part of a larger arts engagement program with the Arts Initiative called Creators on Campus (CoC), which seeks to expand existing visiting artist programs, initiate larger-scale visiting artist possibilities, and enhance learning, arts research, and the overall campus experience. CoC leverages the full scope of resources at the University of Michigan, positioning U-M as the premier destination for emerging and established artists to drive creativity, collaboration, and discovery.

If you’re interested in developing a VAIP within your department or unit, please contact Kathryn Grabowski-Khairullah ([email protected]), Program Curator, for more information.

About the Arts Initiative
The U-M Arts Initiative seeks to illuminate and expand human connections, inspire collaborative creativity, and build a more just and equitable world through the arts. It is a University-wide endeavor to make the arts central to U-M’s identity and mission.

Contact: Jess Jenks, [email protected]

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