Chandra Johnson’s SOCO Gallery bringing New Orleans art to Charlotte


Chandra Johnson loves art. She also loves Charlotte. So what else could the local philanthropist do but start an art gallery in the heart of the city?

“I am fortunate to have so much exposure (to art) through travel and research, and was doing nothing with all the knowledge I was gaining.

“So basically, out of the frustration with myself, I decided to start a gallery to bring the things I love to the city I love.”

Johnson, who is married to NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, started the SOCO Gallery in 2014 as a pop-up gallery in the Mint Museum. Now, the gallery has a permanent location at 421 Providence Road.


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Today, she will partner with The SoGood — a Charlotte-based company that helps promote local artists, designers and creatives — to bring Mallory Page, a New Orleans abstract expressionist artist, to showcase her work at SOCO.

Page’s reception and book signing will take place from 5:30-8 p.m.


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Johnson decided to bring Page to SOCO because of her “rich, abstract” art that reminds Johnson of Helen Frankenthaler, calling Page’s large-scale works “just breathtaking.”

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“It is important for SOCO to be a space for the community,” said Johnson. “My hope is that people will come to our space to feel inspired and connected to the broader world.”

Three things you may not know about Chandra Johnson

(1) She used to be a Wilhelmina model. She was included on NASCAR’s 60 Most Beautiful People special collector’s issue magazine

(2) She has two children, Genevieve “Evie” and Lydia, with Johnson.

(3) She sure does love to travel. Johnson told SportingNews that one of her favorite things about racing is the travel involved and the places they visit.

“I like a lot of things about (racing),” she told the publication. “Especially that my husband gets to do what he loves. We also like that we get to travel and go to fun cities.”

Madysan Foltz

Madysan Foltz is the CharlotteFive intern and brings some New York sass and style to the team. Hailing from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, Madysan has a deep passion for (inter)national travel, live music and Oxford commas.



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