Reflections on Rick Lowe’s ARC Residency: Michele Seville

In November 2014, the Arts Research Center hosted a ten day residency with acclaimed artist, community organizer, and 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rick Lowe. During his time on campus, Lowe presented the 2014 Regents Lecture “Social and Community Engaged Work: The Genuine and the Artificial” and participated in the symposium “Public Art/Housing Publics: Conversations on Art and Social Justice”. He also engaged in class visits, studio critiques, and tours of innovative art and architectural projects with ARC’s partners throughout the Bay Area. We have asked participants to send their reflections on the issues that surfaced during Rick’s visit. The following is from Michele Seville, Richmond’s Arts & Culture Manager overseeing the public art program and community art grants.


I’m still “feeding” off the highlights from Rick Lowe’s residency — experiencing trickle-down nuggets from his lectures, the reception, the symposia, and the amazing community conversation at the end of the Tour of the Richmond Greenway. We were elated to be able to host the tour  of Elm Street Playlot, Scientific Art Studio, and biking with Rick along the Greenway to view the public art and gardens there, and talk about plans for more community engagement and new additions under a Prop 84 Parks grant. What an amazing residency!! I’m personally thrilled to have been able to participate, as Rick is one of my favorite community artists. ARC did an outstanding job of addressing the multiple facets of this work, and I applaud your efforts…and of course I am equally grateful to Rick for his thoughtful presentations, feedback, and sheer stamina!