Houston-based artist and community activist Rick Lowe has been named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow.

The founder of Project Row Houses, Lowe transformed 22 derelict shotgun houses in Houston’s historic Third Ward into a combined arts venue and community center for artists, single mothers, and low-income families. Twenty years and 71 structures later, Lowe’s unconventional approach has served as a model for arts-driven redevelopment projects in Dallas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Now the MacArthur Foundation has recognized his achievements in “animating the assets of a place” by awarding him one of its iconic “genius” grants.

Lowe was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 2002, where he collaborated with classmates and students on strategies for advancing his work in community development. Lowe is currently artist-in-residence at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, and is a Mel King Community Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.