Karen Comer Lowe is currently working as Curator -In-Residence at the Spelman College Museum. She will be curating a solo exhibition of Donald Locke’s artwork at the Atlanta Contemporary in the Fall of 2024. This will be an independent curatorial project and the second exhibition of Donald Locke’s work that she has curated. She is a recipient of the Pellom McDaniels Fellowship supporting research and creative projects utilizing Rose Library collections documenting African American history and culture.
The first exhibition of Donald Locke’s was a 12 year survey during his lifetime in 2003, as part of “The Masters Series” at City Gallery East; a former City of Atlanta program. This was a solo exhibition presented in a cavernous, 8,000 square foot public exhibition space. (The location is now Ponce City Market) The title of the exhibition was “Road to El Dorado.”
The upcoming exhibition, yet to be titled, will be an overview of the work created by Donald C. Locke. I reference it as an overview now because exhibition is still being developed. I received the Donald C. Locke Award to conduct research on the artistic practice of visual artist Donald C. Locke, in preparation for a solo exhibition happening at The Atlanta Contemporary in 2024. After beginning the research, it was decided to shift my award to the Pellom McDaniels Research Award. This was due to the research being in preparation for an art exhibition. I am fortunate in that I knew both Donald Locke and Pellom McDaniels during their lifetime. I met Pellom McDaniels during an NBAF history exhibition that was presented at the Chastain Arts Center, around 2017.
I was searching for unique works that I may not have been aware of during the first exhibition. I was also researching to find earlier work that could possibly be included in this upcoming exhibit. The artist spent some years in Arizona and made some interesting shaped pots during that time. One “Phoenix Bird” is a possible work that I would like to include in the show. I took great interest in the pottery that Donald Locke made before his time in Atlanta.
Through this research, I have learned about the various mediums created by Donald Locke, there is pottery, painting, drawing and installation. This research has expanded the idea of the exhibition and has solidified the idea of presenting various mediums as part of the narrative in the exhibition. The show will open in the fall of the year 2024, at the Atlanta Contemporary.