IMPACT External Panel Bios
March 12, 2010 2:06 pm by Aaron Matthew McKenzie
Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in a historically significant and culturally charged neighborhood in Houston, Texas.
Rick has participated in exhibitions and programs nationally and internationally. From 1992 to the present, he has exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum, Contemporary arts Museum, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York, Kwangji Bienale, Kwangji, Korea, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Glassell School, and the Kumamoto State Museum, Kumamoto, Japan.
Rick has worked as guest artist on a number of community projects nationally. From 2001-2002, he worked in collaboration with arts consultant Jessica Cusick on the Arts Plan for Rem Koolhaus designed Seattle Public Library. Rick worked with California based artists Suzanne Lacy and curator Mary Jane Jacobs on the Borough Project for Spoleto Festival 2003, in Charleston, SC and was lead artist on the Delray Beach Cultural Loop, Delray Beach, Florida. In 2005, he worked with the British architect, David Adjaye, on a project for the Seattle Art Museum in their new Olympic Sculpture Park. Since 2006, he has been working with a group of artists and community activists on Transforma Projects in New Orleans.
He has received many honors.
• In 1997, Rick and Project Row Houses were awarded a silver medal by the Rudy Bruner Awards in Urban Excellence.
• Rick was on the faculty of Skowhegan School of Art, Skowhegan, Maine in 1998.
• The year 2000 recipient of the American Institute of Architecture Keystone Award.
• In 2002, he was awarded by Theresa Heinz the Heinz Award in the arts and humanities.
• Rick was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University from September 2001-June 2002.
• He received the 2005 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Governors Award.
• In 2006, Rick received the Brandywine Lifetime Achievement Award.
• In 2007, he is an Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium, in San Francisco, served as an Innovator for the Japan Society, New York, and received the Houston Spirit Award given by the Mayor of Houston.
Rick has served in the Houston community as a member of SHAPE Community Center, the
Municipal Arts Commission, board member of the Greater Houston Visitors and Conventions, board member of the Menil Foundation. He has also served as a board member of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and a host of other organizations. Rick has served as artist-in-residence at universities throughout the United States, and has lectured internationally
Lex Leifheit is the Executive Director of SOMArts (South of Market Arts, Resources, Technology and Services), a unique hybrid of cultural center, arts service provider, and contemporary arts producer. She is also co-founder of Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck and a writer who has recently published on the inaugural Animating Democracy blog of Amercians for the Arts as well as In Dance magazine. As an artist and teacher, Leifheit directed award-winning plays while an artistic associate at Secret Theatre (1999–2004), taught playwriting to teenagers, and studied at the Moscow Art Theater. She has lectured and led workshops at USF, CCA and Wesleyan University. Administratively Leifheit has worked for Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center, Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
Shalini Agrawal is the founder and principal of 378 Design LLC, a
multi-disciplinary design practice with an emphasis on collaborative design processes. Her projects range from interior architecture, landscape architecture and art installations. Working in a variety of environments, she incorporates participation as a key element in the design process. Agrawal considers the involvement of community as essential to the success of a project. Agrawal is a co-founder of Archi-treasures, a non-profit organization that employs participatory methods to design and build community spaces. She created and developed original curriculum, now implemented in over 70 schoolyards and community spaces in the Chicago area. She facilitated multiple design workshops with participants of all ages, ethnicity and socio-economic status. Agrawal holds firm to the belief that the individual’s well being is a reflection of the community’s, and the community’s well being is a reflection of its constituents.
Agrawal teaches in the First Year Department at CCA and is the faculty facilitator for the First Year Honors Program. Additionally, she teaches design at the
graduate and undergraduate level at a variety of Bay Area institutions. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has worked as an architectural designer in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Eduardo Pineda has painted over 56 murals for cities, museums, school districts, universities, corporations, unions and commercial businesses since joining the Community Mural Movement in 1978. His mural partnership, Fresco (1990-98), with legendary muralist Raymond Patlán produced over 20 murals. In 2008 he teamed up with muralist Joaquin Alejandro Newman. They are currently producing cast concrete architectural enhancements for the Ashland Youth Center, commissioned by the Alameda County Arts Commission. In 2011 the duo produced murals for the Mission Neighborhood Health Center, SF, that engaged San Francisco State University anthropology students in the community mural process, and for the 100 Families Highland Hospital Community Mural Project, commissioned by the Alameda County Arts Commission and that directly involved families. In 2009 he painted a mural for a health clinic in Bamako Mali, West Africa, and produced a photo series for the Alameda County Arts Commission.
Eduardo was the Director of Education at the Museum of the African Diaspora (2006-2007) and held multiple education posts at SFMOMA (1990-2006). As an independent curator has organized exhibitions at numerous Bay Area museums and alternative art spaces. In 2010 Pineda co-curated Images: Independence and Revolution an on-going exhibition of permanent collection objects for The Mexican Museum, San Francisco. He is Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts teaching mural art and an Arts Integration Specialist for the Alameda County Office of Education. He was a teaching artist for the VALUES Project (2003-2006) – an arts integration project of the California College of Arts, the Alameda County Office of Education and Harvard University Project Zero. He earned a M.A. in interdisciplinary arts at San Francisco State University (1988) and a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (1983). His artworks are in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission and Alameda County Arts Commission public art collections.
Maria McVarish is an architect, artist, and visual researcher practicing in San Francisco. She has lectured in architecture at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design and, since 1996, teaches interdisciplinary studies, critical theory and design at CCA. Her innovative development of the Esparto Train Depot is currently the subject of an ENGAGE at CCA class.
Recent and upcoming public lectures include: ‘Hazard Figures: Heritage, Memorial and Wasting in Appalachia’ at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (April 2012); ‘Imaginary Spaces,’ at San Jose State University (November 2009); 'in Visible Memory,' at Syracuse University (October 2008); and 'Design in the Unconscious' for the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (June 2007).
Her essays, drawings and sculpture have been published in Memory Connection Journal, Diacritics, Zyzzava, How(ever), and Architecture California: the Journal of the American Institute of Architects. Her architectural work has been featured in California Home and Design, Southface Journal and CNN’s television series Earth-Wise.