Third Ward Unity in Faith: Backbone of Our Souls

23 Mar 2024 – 18 May 2024

Regular hours

12:00 – 15:00
12:00 – 15:00
12:00 – 15:00

Free admission

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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.


Images of the still-standing small houses of worship, captured by art photographers Earlie Hudnall, Ray Carrington and Tamirah Collins, will be shared at the exhibition “Third Ward Unity in Faith: Backbone of Our Souls,” opening March 23 at the Community Artists’ Collective, 4101 San Jacinto, Suite 116.

Kathleen Coleman, a fourth generation Third Ward resident, curated the exhibition.

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, which continues through May 18, is part of the FotoFest Biennial and is free to attend. An opening reception will be held Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. and an artists’ talk Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m.

The Collective is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 noon until 5 p.m. and by appointment.

For more information about the exhibit contact The Collective at 713-523-1616 or visit www.thecollective.org.

What to expect? Toggle


Kathleen Colemann

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Earlie Hudnall

Tamirah Collins

Ray Carrington


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