Project Row Houses Announces Inaugural “Southern Survey Biennial” with $25K Prize

by Jessica Fuentes July 8, 2022

Project Row Houses (PRH) has announced a call for submissions for its inaugural Southern Survey Biennial, which will go on view in fall 2022

A photograph of an aerial view of Project Row Houses in 2015. The image shows a neighborhood block with over a dozen small white row houses.

Aerial View of Project Row Houses in 2015. Photo by Peter Molick, courtesy of Project Row Houses.

Established in 1993, the Houston-based organization has three areas of focus, including neighborhood development, community enrichment, and supporting the arts. Each year, PRH hosts 2-3 exhibitions, which the organization refers to as “rounds.” 

The upcoming exhibition, Round 54, is titled the Southern Survey Biennial and is a call for artists living and working in the South (defined as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida). This is a new format for the organization, as the rounds are typically thematic. 

Danielle Burns Wilson, PRH’s Curator and Art Director told Glasstire, “Project Row Houses has a way in which we have always been able to respond to the need. I always say it’s a call and response. When I started at PRH a year ago, a lot of artists remembered early years of Row Houses that they could send a proposal. So, I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring that back. Also, looking at it through a curatorial lens… I was the guest curator for the Mississippi Museum of Art Invitational and I realized, through talking to the artists, that oftentimes the opportunities [in the South] are not as vast as [those for artists] living on the coast.”

Ms. Burns Wilson also spoke of the significance of having a biennial for the southern region at PRH: “Project Row Houses’ larger mission is always a collective action…how are we enriching the community, not only around us locally, but nationally and internationally… [We are] always putting our locality front and center in a larger context… I keep hearing really great feedback from people excited about having something like this in the region, [specifically in] a more alternative space to a museum.”

Valerie Cassel Oliver, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and former Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, will be the guest curator for this year’s biennial. Ms. Cassel Oliver is perhaps best known for curating the majorly successful exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse.

Seven artists will be selected to participate in the biennial. Each artist will have the opportunity to create work in one of the organization’s row houses. Each artist will receive a $4,000 stipend to create their project, and an additional $500 for programming throughout the course of the exhibition. PRH will also cover the cost of travel to Houston and lodging for the artists. Additionally, Ms. Cassel Oliver will award one artist in the show a $25,000 prize. 

Round 54 will be on view from October 8, 2022 through February 12, 2023. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 15, 2022.

For more information and to apply, visit the PRH website.

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