“[L]ove is a way of life. Love is caring and sharing and being patient. It is feeling responsibilities to yourself and to others to love and be loved...it’s the greatest gift of all.” – Donna Dowless
One thing I love even more than art itself is an interesting artist’s biography. All artists typically have interesting backgrounds, but some more interesting than others--hence, businesswoman and self-taught contemporary artist Donna Dowless. She has been rightfully nicknamed by the City of Orlando as The Ambassador of Love.
Picasso mainly painted nudes and still lives. Warhol painted flowers and faces. These artists transformed the way the world looks and the way we look at the world. Donna Dowless paints hearts and transforms the city through her paint brush and canvas. A vast selection of her magnificent creations are on exhibit now at Grand Bohemian Gallery. If you have not already been to Heart and Soul, get ready for a treat!
On opening night Donna Dowless absolutely packed Grand Bohemian Gallery from wall to wall with collectors savoring the moment while discussing their lust with her as an artist and extolling her work. The gallery was filled with many local artists and collectors and the energy was explosive. Many galleries and art spaces tend to be palatial or stuffy. Heart and Soul Exhibition at Grand Bohemian was more like a social club oozing with creativity that lasted all night. This boutique celebration did not fail. I was so impressed with the art, the gallery and the crowd it drew, that I will never miss a future Donna Dowless exhibition.
Donna Dowless’ art is the perfect complement to any collection. Her canvases are painted using layers of color washes, acrylics, oil pastels and translucent glazes. The hearts painted in her works are representative of an invitation to viewers to visualize special moments in their own lives. Sometimes art is not necessarily all about the handcraft, but it is more about transmission of a feeling the artist has experienced. Heart and Soul at Grand Bohemian is about love. Love in the highest degree. Love from Donna Dowless in her work and love from the people in the gallery enjoying her vibrant creations.
I enjoyed the Heart and Soul Exhibition so much that I have returned to see it twice now. Each time I enter the Grand Bohemian Gallery, there are still many people enjoying the art. Not as many as on opening night, but enough so that you will be in good company.
Chloe J. Roberts is from Miami. She is a lawyer, art writer/critic, essayist and playwright.