February 6 - 27, 2021
Project Row Houses and Aurora Picture Show co-present ELDORADO NIGHTS, a weekly series of outdoor projections at Houston’s historic Eldorado Ballroom. Each Saturday throughout the month of February, join us on the west side of the building for projections by artists Jamal Cyrus, Brian Ellison, Bria Lauren, and Phillip Pyle, II, whose contributions resond to the history and legacy of the Eldorado and Third Ward. The project is curated by Phillip Pyle, II.
These are outdoor events. For everyone’s safety and comfort, 6-foot social distancing and masks are required at all times. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for use if needed. Guests who do not comply will not be permitted.
Saturday, February 6 (7-9PM) Jamal Cyrus
Saturday, February 13 (7-9PM) Brian Ellison (Cancelled due to inclement weather)
Saturday, February 20 (7-9PM) Bria Lauren
Saturday, February 27 (7-9PM) Phillip Pyle, II
About the Eldorado Ballroom
The Eldorado Ballroom, located at the corner of Elgin Street and Emancipation Avenue in Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood, was built in 1939 by renowned architect Lenard Gabert, who designed many of the city’s large art deco structures. In its heyday, the Eldorado was owned by Anna Dupree, who opened the building in the 1940’s to establish a community venue for Black social clubs and other Third Ward groups. Between the 1940s and its closing in the early-70s, the upstairs Eldorado Ballroom hosted countless blues and jazz performances, talent shows, and sock-hops, while the first-floor storefront spaces housed independent businesses. Internationally known artists including Count Basie and B.B. King made regular appearances at the ballroom, while Houston-born musicians such as Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins and Johnny “Guitar” Watson honed their skills there before going on to bigger fame. In 1999, the Eldorado Ballroom was gifted to Project Row Houses. Today, the building hosts small businesses incubated by Project Row Houses, as well as the PRH archive.
About the Artists
Jamal Cyrus (born 1973, Houston, TX) received his BFA from the University of Houston in 2004 and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Cyrus has won several awards, most recently the Driskell Prize, awarded by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (2020). He has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, including Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2020); Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (2018); Direct Message: Art, Language and Power, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2019); and The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 – Now, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL (2016).
Cyrus was also a member of the artist collective Otabenga Jones and Associates. As a member of the collective, he exhibited at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2008); the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC (2008); the Menil Collection, Houston (2007); and the 2006 Whitney Biennial.
Brian Ellison is a self-taught photographer, cinematographer, and creative director. He is director of the film UnMASKulinity and the founder of The Black Man Project. Brian believes that art is a universal language that can be the catalyst for healing. Through his lens, Brian documents the everyday Black experience such as gentrification’s impact on historical communities, under-publicized Black love and comradery, parenthood, and the persistent courage of Black women and men.
Bria Lauren is a Texas native, born and raised in Third Ward, Houston. The South is a sacred and integrate part of her work as a visual storyteller, healer, and queer Black woman utilizing ancestral healing as a tool to navigate intersectionality as an act of resistance. Analog photography is a catalyst for Lauren to translate her own unspoken vulnerability, visually and to hold space for marginalized voices to be seen, honored, cared for, and respected.
Phillip Pyle, II is a visual artist, graphic designer, and photographer based in Houston, Texas whose primary interests are race, humor, advertising, sports and popular culture. Mining imagery from sources diverse as mass consumer culture, contemporary advertising, to ephemera, historical imagery, and hip-hop, Pyle introduces a complex vision that derives from a robust comedic foundation while also looking at the abstraction and transience of our values, and beliefs.
Film: January 25, 2021 | 7–9 pm
Film: February 13, 2021 | 7–9 pm
Brian Ellison (Cancelled due to inclement weather)
Film: February 20, 2021 | 7–9 pm
Film: February 27, 2021 | 7–9 pm
Phillip Pyle, II
Houston, 77004 TX