The Art Director Ushering The Bill Lowe Gallery Into Its Next Chapter


donovan johnson


Donovan Johnson joined the Bill Lowe Gallery 10 years ago, where he gracefully ascended the ranks. Upon the passing of his beloved mentor, for which the gallery is named, last December, Johnson was appointed executive director, tasked with ushering the Atlanta institution into its next chapter.

On deck: The first show scheduled for next year is called Alchemy and features Black artists from around the United States, including Thornton Dial, Wifredo Lam and Emma Amos. It’s a group show around the idea that in marginalized communities, there’s an innate call to take whatever you have and turn it into something that transcends its first state of being.

Virtual reality: During the pandemic, galleries introduced 3-D viewing rooms. This technology had been around too long for us to be suffering from the 2-D aspects of photography! Now anyone can experience sculpture in 3D; you can even see surveys of the Whitney Biennial on YouTube. It’s a beautiful thing about the world we live in.

Arresting artist: Ilíidio Candja Candja, who was born in Mozambique around the time they won their independence from Portugal. He paints these beautiful abstractions around the influences of colonization.

Lasting impression: The exhibition What is Left Unspoken, Love at Atlanta’s High Museum achieved true resonance.

Fair game: Atlanta is 49 percent black. Art in general in the South is so much more diverse than what is currently being seen. Our programming moving forward will be reflective of this.