ARTIST TALK “Third Ward Unity in Faith: Backbone of Our Souls” at Community Artists’ Collective

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ARTIST TALK “Third Ward Unity in Faith: Backbone of Our Souls” at Community Artists’ Collective

April 27 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2024 at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM: Photographers Earlie Hudnall, Jr.; Ray Carrington; and Tamirah Collins share some of their methods, motivation and love for preserving  memories in this program tied to the exhibition “Third Ward Unity in Faith: Backbone of Our Souls” at Community Artists’ Collective.

Whether you see it as progress or gentrification, familiar streets and structures are constantly changing, affecting subtle and sometimes monumental lifestyle changes. How many times has the sudden absence of a local landmark caught us by surprise? The memories surrounding every landmark are unique with each person. This is especially true in the rapidly changing Third Ward area.

Fortunately, there are people who recognize the value of preserving our memories with images of “the way we were.” Photographers Hudnall, Carrington, and Collins documented many of the small worship places in the Third Ward, as well as some of the current houses of worship shown in The Collective’s current exhibition.

ON VIEW MARCH 23 – MAY 18, 2024: The Community Artists’ Collective presents images of the still-standing small houses of worship captured by art photographers Earlie Hudnall, Ray Carrington and Tamirah Collins. The exhibition was curated by Kathleen Coleman, a fourth-generation Third Ward resident.

Early African American settlers in Houston’s Third Ward area established small worship places, reminiscent of the praise houses attended during slavery in the Jim Crow era. The intimate and personal size of the congregations created bonds in the community that would last for more than 90 years.

These small churches resembled rural structures like those in many sharecropping communities near Houston. A few of these small congregations linger and tell the story of the Third Ward’s ever-changing landscape. Because of its proximity to downtown Houston, the churches are often sold and inhabited by a younger demographic.

Hudnall and Carrington, who attended Texas Southern University, have been cataloging the Third Ward area for more than 30 years, telling a story with their photos of the community block by block, from past to present.

Hudnall’s mentor, Dr. John Biggers, saw the shotgun houses as urban pyramids. Carrington’s mentor, veteran photographer and teacher Herbert Provost, instilled a love of photography and of the community in him as a student at Jack Yates High School. Collins, a mentee of Carrington and the exhibition coordinator at The Collective, will continue documenting the area from a new generational perspective.

The exhibition is part of the FotoFest Biennial and is free to attend. Events include an opening reception on Saturday, March 23, at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and an artists’ talk Saturday, April 27, at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The Collective is open 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Thursday through Saturday and by appointment.

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