one on one with gallery owner donna krueger

Over the years, we have heard many different kinds of stories from patrons about how art moves them. Recently Gallery Owner Donna Krueger shared some of her own stories about her art experiences and travels that have influenced her lifelong love of art. Here is part one of the discussion.

Q: Between owning a successful art gallery for 8 years, and your artful life before the gallery, you have had some meaningful “art moments.” What have been some of your more memorable art experiences?

A: There is a man I noticed around the Square almost daily. Walking by himself, I often recognized him by his Braves cap. On a couple of occasions, I observed his emotional response to artwork while standing outside the gallery window. One day he was moved to laughter as he looked at a Susan Easton Burns horse painting. On another day he stood a long while and looked at a figurative work by Holly Irwin and just cried.

I got to know him over time. I learned that he lost his wife a few years ago and has been lonely. His curious behavior was just his reaction to art. He loves the Gallery and finds peace and comfort, and some sort of healing as he looks at the original works. They move him.

He misses his wife terribly, but is moved by our artists’ work and display…. And that moves me.  – dk

Susan Easton Burns Sit Down 30X22 Acrylic on Paper

Susan Easton Burns Sit Down 30X22 Acrylic on Paper


He wrote these notes on two occasions to show his appreciation.

I have always known that art has the power to transform both personally and in community, but to witness it day in and day out is a privilege. I like the way Renoir describes it:

The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, carry you away.- Renoir

We see it daily. It is a privilege and an honor. It is raw, personal and moving for us to witness too.

We have visited a number of exhibits over the years and some have made a powerful impact on me. Santa Fe, New Mexico has so much great organic art all over. Other large-scale exhibits that helped me understand how organized art efforts can change a city were Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Mi. and Art Basel in Miami. Another incredible experience was when we visited Italy and got to see all the masters. While there, we learned Florence had the first public art installation made in a gift from the last dame of the Medici family to the city of Florence-so that people would come from then on to see the art.  All of these were fun to be a part of and living, breathing examples of art transforming communities.

Q: You mentioned a few of your trips where you have visited some notable exhibits. Did you have an art itinerary for pieces you wanted to see before you travelled to these places? 

A: I don’t generally plan an itinerary for our trips that revolve around art–but usually just pick the destinations. Like when we travelled to Italy last year–there is so much to see in Florence and elsewhere in Italy. There’s so much history, architecture and art that many times you’ll only scratch the surface in any trip.


A contemporary Jeff Koons sculpture at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

Another example was Marfa,TX.  We had heard about the eclectic and off beat art scene there.  We didn’t really plan all that we would do but gave ourselves a long weekend and figured out what was there. We went from the mysterious Marfa lights, to Donald Judd’s collection, to the Ft. Davis observatory (this was Kerry’s favorite). We get to a destination, figure out what’s there and then we make a plan. We still don’t see everything we’d like see, but we certainly leave each place enriched and broadened by the experience.

Prada Marfa by Elmgreen and Dragset

Prada Marfa by Elmgreen and Dragster, Marfa, Texas

Donald Judd, Untitled, Marfa, Texas,

Untitled by Donald Judd, Marfa, Texas

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Showing 2 comments
  • Julie

    Always extraordinary Donna Krueger…your art and your passion for life and the people who are privileged to be in it!

  • Holly Irwin

    Thank you, Donna for sharing these stories, particularly the one about the man who lost his wife. When we’re creating art, we do it because we can’t imagine doing anything else with our lives. A voice inside is calling out and wants to be expressed, to be heard. When the work connects so powerfully with another person, it’s magical and rewarding and humbling all at the same time! It’s like that work was meant to be seen by that particular person and to speak a message to him. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do what I truly love to do and to share it at dk Gallery.


    Holly Irwin

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