Arts / Museums

The Nasher Sculpture Center Windows Are Transformed For a Touching Tribute

Donald Fowler Brought Wonder to The Nasher Windows — Now They’re Dedicated to His Memory

BY // 07.10.20

Dallas retail veteran Donald Fowler brought his impeccable taste and a touch of humor to every post he held throughout his career. His final position, as the director of retail for the Nasher Sculpture Center store, was no exception.

The store, which underwent the Fowler makeover in 2017, became a work of art in its own right, filled with (in addition to Nasher branded merch) eclectic finds, luxurious gifts, and a healthy dose of levity. “People don’t want to buy a bunch of serious stuff,” the late Fowler once told me.

Fowler worked wonders with the Dallas Arts District shop, and now, the windows he once helped transform are being dedicated to the memory of the charismatic artist, who tragically passed in May of this year.

donald fowler by mindy byrd
Donald Fowler in the Nasher Sculpture Garden. Photo by Mindy Byrd.

The most recent Nasher Windows project — a new program launched by Leigh Arnold and curated by Catherine Craft to safely exhibit works during the pandemic — was executed by visual artist Kristen Cochran. The piece was unveiled on July 3, and will be available for viewing on Flora Street through Wednesday, July 15.

The ultra-violet archway reads “Farewell,” and was modeled after the late Fowler’s own handwriting. “In some way, I imagined this work offering Donald agency over accident, giving him a surface upon which to sign off— as both a salutation and an urgent imperative,” Cochran wrote on Instagram.


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fare well, 2020 —on view now at The Nasher Sculpture Center— part of the Windows Projects programming initiated by Leigh Arnold and curated by Catherine Craft. . This work is about signs and traces of existence, the passage of time, loss and living. It is reconceived from an installation @frontspace, Kansas City, in 2016 about identity, retirement, labor and leisure. . This version for Nasher Windows has been made site specific in scale and character – the script modeled after handwriting samples of a beloved artist, friend and the Nasher Store Director, Donald Fowler, who recently left this world tragically and much too soon. In some way, I imagined this work offering Donald agency over accident, giving him a surface upon which to sign off— as both a salutation and an urgent imperative. In this way the work pays homage to Donald specifically and acknowledges greater global losses that are being experienced during this time of unjust viruses and chronic acts of violence. . My desire was to create an ultra-violet archway -viewable frontally but experienced immersively with light expanding from inside to outside, transcending the confines of institutional containers to create a type of contemplative or sacred space in a public square-a space for memory and being. . Three cast flowers, in unruly postures, rest on the floor as a slight and lively memorial. . More information about this work and the Nasher Windows Projects can be found on the link in bio. . Many thanks to @catherineacraft, @leeland283, Jed Morse and @nashersculpturecenter and the work of all the artists who have participated. 💜

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