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Pearl Street

Alumni Blog

Found Alum: Johanna Bohman Barger ’97

Several “Found Alums” have been returning the contact information request we sent out in December. Let me re-introduce you to Johanna Bohman Barger ‘97.

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Johanna was found in New York City. A 2005 graduate of Vanderbilt, Johanna continued her education by earning a master’s of arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, and a second master’s degree in art business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2011.

Armed with design training and business acumen, Johanna is currently a Senior Interior Designer at Drake Design Associates in NYC. Johanna and business owner, Jamie Drake, were recently asked to design a project for Designer Visions. Designer Visions is an annual honorary event produced by Hearst Design Group in which the editors of Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Veranda each select a designer to honor. Johanna explained, “This year, Jamie and I designed a colorful 2700 sq. ft. apartment in Chelsea in The Walker Tower with a modernized Art Deco flair for House Beautiful.” You can read the article in the magazine or view portions of it online at HB’s website.

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We asked Johanna to share her thoughts about life after St. Andrew’s.

What are your favorite things about New York?
One of my favorite things about New York is the incredible access of it all–proximity to amazing restaurants, art museums & galleries, lectures, shops, and access to so many other destinations that are just a quick flight away out of NYC.

If there was one Austin thing you could bring to New York, what would it be?
That is not a fair question because you’re making me decide between my mom and Mexican food. Of course, I’d bring my mom, but she’d have to bring me the Mexican Special from Maudie’s on the plane ride up.

Is there a teacher that encouraged you in any way toward your current career?
Yes, I always thought I’d end up in medicine or a science field until my freshman year at Vanderbilt. We were required to take a small freshman seminar and I chose religious architecture. My professor, Dr. Ljubica Popovich, was one of the most interesting and inspiring professors I’ve ever had in school. Dr. Popovich, along with Dr. Leonard Folgarait (my other favorite professor) opened up the world of art and architectural history for me that led me to my current career. I’ll always be eternally grateful to them and their ability to make art come alive in the dimly lit art history lecture rooms at Vandy.

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Pictured above is Johanna at an install for an event called DIFFA Dining by Design, an event that brings designers together to raise money to support AIDS research. Follow this link, and you can see Johanna at work! Keep an eye out in the design magazines–we’re sure to see more of Johanna.

Pictures provided by permission from House Beautiful, copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Jonny Valiant, photographer.

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