Rick Lowe: G.A.P. Van

Engaging a community to reflect, connect and create

LOCATION
Tulsa, OK
DATES
JAN 18 – MAY 15
LOCAL PBS STATION
OETA

As Tulsa, Oklahoma, approaches the centennial of a dark moment in its history, the G.A.P. van is inspiring residents to commemorate and learn together - not only exhibiting art and sharing performances, but encouraging everyone to use art and creativity to foster mutual understanding and healing.

OVERVIEW

Rick Lowe’s G.A.P. Van is a multi-use, collaborative mobile art exhibition, workshop space and crosstown poster project.

The name G.A.P means a lot to the Tulsa community. Most notably, it references 1980’s R&B group GAP BAND. The acronym stands for Greenwood/Archer and Pine, their home and boundary streets of historic Greenwood, popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” and the site of the most devastating massacre in the history of US race relations.

The G.A.P Van will travel across Tulsa, asking residents to use their stories and voices to advance a powerful, healing approach to commemoration and memorial. At each stop, G.A.P. will invite residents to create posters which will be featured on a rotating, outdoor gallery retrofitted to the vehicle’s exterior walls.

Meet the Artist.

Rick Lowe

Award-winning artist, community organizer, 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellowship recipient.

Rick Lowe (b. 1961, Alabama) is a groundbreaking artist whose work has transformed the field of public art and established social practice as a bonafide art form. Challenged as a young artist to materialize his political ambitions, Lowe turned from painting to community engagement and urban renewal. In 1993, he purchased and renovated 22 neglected row houses in Houston’s historic African-American Third Ward. Today, these houses form the core of Project Row Houses (PRH), a six block neighborhood that provides exhibition spaces, artist residencies, temporary housing for single mothers, office and commercial spaces, a community gallery, a park, and low-income residencies.

Lowe’s work has been shown at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Arts, LA; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY; the Venice Architecture Biennale; and Documenta 14. He has worked on multiple community-based art projects, including the Watts House Project in LA and the Borough Project in Charleston. Lowe has served as a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, an Auburn University Breedan Scholar, and a Stanford University Haas Center Distinguished Visitor. He was appointed to the National Council on the Arts in 2013; in 2014 he was named a MacArthur Fellow. He currently works as a Professor of Interdisciplinary Practice at the University of Houston. In 2020 he was awarded the Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Award at the Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference.

Rick Lowe is represented by Hiram Butler Gallery. Rick Lowe’s Instagram @projectrowhouses (open on instagram in a new window) and Twitter @PRH_Houston.(open on twitter in a new window) Greenwood Art Project's Instagram @greenwood.art.project. (open on instagram in a new window)

The G.A.P. Van was conceived and orchestrated by Rick Lowe, William Cordova, Jerica Wortham, Marlon Hall, Kode Ransom and Jeff Van Hanken, with posters submitted by artists and participants in the Tulsa area.

It’s your story. Join in.