Art Review: Check Out Project Row Houses' 2011 Summer Studios While Slurping a Sno-Cone

Afternoons right now are probably the harshest conditions in which to brave the un-air-conditioned installations at PRH, but they're worth a quick look while your clothes become steadily soaked in sweat. Might be a good move to arrive around 1 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, because that's when University of Houston sculpture student Matthew Gorgol sets up his traveling sno-cone cart and drives it through the Third Ward, giving away frozen, sweet treats. Browsing the houses with a cold cone of flavored ice would definitely make the experience more comfortable. (And it's a genuinely good-natured idea on the part of Gorgol.)

All the artists involved in this round of installations are college students nominated by their professors and chosen by a panel of professional artists, and they run from identity-probing questions of beauty standards, like recent Houston Baptist University graduate Lynissa Hayes's mixed-media series "Shifting Beauty in the Black Culture," to Texas Southern University student Tony McMillian's "Not Jus 3rd Ward," a chain of paintings and spray-painted slogans exploring difficult social issues facing black communities, to Rice graduate Logan Sebastian Beck's conceptual sign-making workshop "deLUX."

The four-room Greenwood King house gets another stellar treatment with current UH student Brittney Connelly's "CasteAways: A Resuscitation of Third Ward." Connelly blankets the walls and furniture with layers of wheat-pasted white and off-white paper, torn and crumpled and peeling off every surface, revealing little cards with handwritten addresses of locations in the Third Ward. It's a kind of metaphor for gentrification and the symbolic mummification of neighborhood history.

Through September 11. Project Row Houses, 2521 Holman, 713-526-7662.

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