Social Artist Rick Lowe Visits Menlo College

Social Artist Rick Lowe Visits Menlo College

Menlo College welcomed Houston-based social artist Rick Lowe as a guest speaker at Menlo’s Writing & Oral Communication Center. Lowe’s visit to Menlo College was co-sponsored by several campus organizations, including the Black Student Union, Art Club, Journalism Club, Net Impact Club, and Art Committee.

Lowe’s approach to community revitalization has transformed neglected neighborhoods into vibrant centers of public art. He spoke about his experience engaging communities in art.

One of his first projects was a block and a half of derelict shotgun houses built in the 1930s. He and a group of artists turned them into Project Row Houses, with an engaged community center to celebrate the diversity of its members. Lowe has since kindled similar community projects in other cities, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, and North Dallas.

Lowe inspired the Menlo audience to look at life as a work of art. He said that “with open minds and curiosity we can create solutions for the social problems that we see around us. Creativity and an eye for beauty will help us transform our communities and bring meaning to ourselves as well as society.”

In 2013, President Obama appointed Rick Lowe to the National Council on the Arts. In 2014, Rick Lowe was a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.” Currently, he is the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service.