House of Cards


About the Project

While 2008 made us aware of the housing crisis, with the improvements in the economy the assumption is that the crisis is over. The reality is, people are still challenging loss of home. Not only are housing costs high, but affordable homes are often of low quality and in unstable neighborhoods with poor education opportunities for children. All too many individuals and families have come to know the devastating personal and family experience of the loss of a home. 

House of Cards: Rebuilding is the first presentation of a work-in-progress exhibition featuring the personal stories of community members who are struggling to save their homes. The narratives include families confronting foreclosure, forced displacement and other threats to our human right housing. Through photographs, short films, and research information, this new work allows us to learn how our neighbors are dealing with these threats and meet the organizations they are working with to confront these challenges. House of Cards features a series of doors, each one representing a narrative of challenge and hardship from a member of our community facing housing issues.

In 2022, the United States is in the midst of a massive housing shortage, which, combined with a sharp increase in housing costs and rent prices, has led to over a half a million people to experience homelessness in the United States. Therefore, the issues that this exhibit addresses and the personal stories that it shares, are just as relevant and important as they were in 2008. 

about the artists

Jon Lowenstein

Jon Lowenstein is an American documentary photographer, filmmaker, and visual artist.

Other artists/contributors include:
  • Short Films: Maren Wickwire
  • Curation: Robert Feldman
  • Design: Thirst
  • Research: Nathan Carley

Public Programs

 April 29, 2015

625 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

Special thanks to speakers Frank Avellone, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing; Kevin Jackson, Chicago Rehab Network Chicago Rehab Network; Charles Leeks, National Public Housing Museum National Public Housing Museum; James Rudyk, Northwest Side Housing Center Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC); Britt Shawver, Housing Opportunities for Women Housing Opportunities for Women; and Janet Smith, University of Illinois Chicago Voorhees Center UIC Voorhees Center.

April 18, 2015

625 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

April 8, 2015

625 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

Special thanks to speakers Britt Shawver, Housing Opportunities for Women, Sol Flores, La Casa Norte, and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein.
In partnership with National Public Housing Museum.

Short Films

On Artist Maren Wickwire created a series of short films that documented the lives of individuals and families throughout their journey with housing insecurity and connections with community organizations. The films illustrate the personal impact the housing crisis has had and reasserts the importance of safe and secure housing as a human right. 

House of Cards short films (27 min.)

bring this exhibit to you

All of our exhibitions are designed to tour and can be adapted to a broad spectrum of venue types and sizes.

We are happy to provide step-by-step support for hosting this exhibit.

Contact us to learn more about bringing this exhibit to your community.

House of Cards installation at the ART WORKS Projects Studio Gallery

support for this project


House of Cards was presented in partnership with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Public Housing Museum.


The House of Cards: Rebuilding exhibition was generously supported in part by the Pierce Family Foundation and Peter Kupferberg