Michael Lachowski is Public Relations Coordinator at the Georgia Museum of Art. He develops and manages gallery promotions, coordinates events, and establishes connections in and out of the Athens art world.
Pylon, “Elder Statesman”
Michael had lived in the South for most of his life, but didn’t feel a strong connection to Southern culture, so he elected to study photography at UGA instead of art school to cultivate that connection. Along the way he and his roommate, another art student, started Pylon, considered the “elder statesman of the alternative rock explosion.”
Pylon’s downtown practice studio, located in a loft above where The Grill is today, was lit solely by a 40 watt bulb. It was known affectionately as the “40 Watt Club,” a name later adopted by the legendary downtown music venue. Michael’s experience with Pylon drew him and his fellow band members even closer to Athens. By the time the band broke up, the music scene was starting to have a big impact on Athens’ reputation, and the members decided to stick around their beloved town and help out wherever they could.
Master of Trades
To stay creative, Michael started Candy, a one-man creative ad agency that evolved into a store for DJs before becoming a clothing retailer. He designed each venture for the opportunity to help others, but he enjoyed having the flexibility to create and showcase his own projects.
Since sticking to a single project is simply not in Michael’s DNA, he went on to create Young, Foxy & Free, a free magazine featuring local artists, culture, and style. Despite its popularity, his passion required tremendous effort and continuous hustle to maintain. When Michael saw the opening for PR Coordinator at the Georgia Museum of Art, it seemed like the perfect fit. His public creative pursuits had been a great, natural way for him to meet people, but he was ready to have the resources to better support his ideas.
Bringing the Museum to the Town
As an ambassador and administrator of the Georgia Museum of Art, Michael manages everything from museum communications, keeping the website up to date, speaking at conferences, responding to media requests for information, and working on invitations, posters, photography, and social media efforts to promote museum initiatives. He also works closely with the state travel industry and the Athens Convention Center and Business Bureau.
Michael came to the Georgia Museum of Art with a strong desire to better connect the town and the museum. He believes that the best way for the museum to come through favorably is to connect people while promoting other entities. In that spirit, he’s organized multiple initiatives like Third Thursday, a monthly showcase of local galleries that now includes transportation provided by the Classic Center. It’s a collective promotion that’s good for everyone, but it’s based on promoting others. In his first year on the job, Michael also organized Museum Mix, a free and public evening party at the museum, and went on to establish Athens Art Crowd, an open cocktail party every other other month at Hotel Indigo.
Michael still manages to keep up his independent projects the allow for an extra creative outlet. One of Michael’s current initiatives, Foto Pixx, is resurrected from his Young, Foxy & Free days. Through Foto Pixx, Michael creates an opportunity for people in the community to sit for a portrait.
“It’s a generous act to come in and sit for a photograph. It takes a certain amount of faith to give me the opportunity to capture a portrait, and I’m really thankful.”
At the recent Bulldog Inn Art Show, he and his team managed more than 1 per minute, with a line out the door the entire time.