According to Caitlin Herrington from Greenville News…..

The Back Door ART Gallery

Joe Lowery officially opened The Back Door Art Gallery on Dec. 13. The only art gallery in Fountain Inn, South Carolina.

According to Caitlin Herrington from Greenville News…..

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Art for all: Local man opens gallery for artists of all types and ages in Fountain Inn

With dried brush strokes of paint camouflaged by the plaid on his button-up shirt, Joe Lowery officially opened Fountain Inn’s first art gallery on Dec. 13.

Back Door Art Gallery – with an address on Main Street and accessed through the back parking lot – currently features the acrylic, watercolor and graphite work of six artists from across the state. All the works are available for purchase, including those on the soon-to-be-filled kids wall 

“I think every area needs to have an art gallery,” Lowery said. “Even if you don’t come in here and buy something, people who paint and draw and sculpt ought to have a place to display it and an opportunity for other people to appreciate it. It helps drive the culture and that’s really what it’s about; it’s not a money-making adventure.”

He hopes to eventually lease the remainder of the unit at 107B Main Street and fill it with studio space for artists and classes, though he focused on filling the current gallery. The 45 pieces currently on the walls are a drop in the bucket to the 150 it could hold on its walls – —not to mention the freestanding displays that can be added.

For now, the displays are all 2D, though a jewelry maker from Atlanta is being added in January and Lowery invites artists of every form to display their work in Fountain Inn.

Sam Smith, who drove her graphite work up from Charleston, said the gallery presented a new challenge for her. Each space she displays her work has a separate theme, so having work in Fountain Inn meant the chance to try a new series.

“I want to plant seeds in multiple areas because I like to work multiple series at a time,” she said. “This series is only going to be in this gallery, glass and probably water studies. Something simple but I think people would like.”

Her black-and-white drawings done with the thinnest of pencil leads stand out among the colorful bouquets and waterfalls along the gallery walls. It might make her work hard to place, she joked, but Lowery has a plan to rotate the art so locals can always get a new view.

“It’ll look different every time you walk in here,” he said.

A relative newcomer to the finer art community, Lowery said he’s proud to have taken this step for his fellow painters and artists of all kinds. Regardless of where they are in their journey, having space to display work is important.

His painting adventure began in 2017 after taking a colored pencil drawing class in Greer with his granddaughter. He wanted to try the different effects of using a brush – and it’s a bit faster than drawing with pencil, he laughed.

“It was a disaster until somebody directed me to Julia Peters’ 10 Central Ave Studios in Greenville,” he said of his painting. “She worked her magic, as she did on most of the people I know in the art industry. More people could paint than believe they could if they got the right kind of training and encouragement.”

The encouragement may be the part he hopes to emphasize most with the gallery, especially with the kids’ wall that’s free for children 13 and under to hang and sell their artwork.

“Before I got into painting, I didn’t know what the art community was like. It’s great to be a part of it and this makes me more a part of it than before,” he said. “I just want the area to have it and the artists to have a place to display their wares. And the children, too. A place for everybody.”

For gallery hours or exhibitor information, visit​ the art gallery website at​, or

— Caitlin Herrington, local reporte